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2019 Holiday Safety Tips from Face It

The 2019 holiday season is coming up and, as families gather to celebrate and spend time together, Face It® is sharing tips for family, friends, neighbors, and the broader community to keep kids safe.

The holidays can be stressful for many reasons and everyone can play a role in keeping kids safe, including preventing abuse and avoiding unsafe situations that can result from excessive alcohol, overly stressed parents and caregivers, and children’s contact with extended family and friends.

Here are ten helpful tips to share with friends and family about child safety.

  1. Holidays bring many gatherings that can be busy and full of familiar and new people. Ensure your child knows to be aware of anyone who asks them to keep a secret and knows the difference between “ok” and “not ok” touches, even when you trust the people they spend time with. Review the Body Safety 101 resource here.
  2. Offering to watch the children of your friends, family, and neighbors is so helpful when they need a break or seem frustrated. Holidays mean more errands and a child in tow on these errands can add additional stress to a situation, leaving a parent or caregiver vulnerable to reacting emotionally to frustrating child behaviors.
  3. Children learn good boundaries by watching the adults around them and figuring out what is comfortable for them. Ask a child if they want a hug and respect what the child says. Never force your child to hug or kiss a friend or relative if your child is reluctant.
  4. Remember, babies crying is normal all year round. If you feel frustrated with your child, it is okay to leave the baby in a crib or safe place while you take some deep breaths to calm down. 
  5. Parenting is hard, and sometimes friends and family members with good intentions can make it even harder. If a family member offers unsolicited advice or makes a negative comment, remember that you know what is best for your child. You can ignore the comment or ask that they withhold their advice.
  6. Keep your tree watered. Dry needles on live trees are serious fire hazards
  7. Do not overload electrical outlets. This in addition to faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance in each outlet. 
  8. To avoid the risk of spills and burns, keep pot and pan handles turned towards the back of the stove while cooking and remain in the kitchen while cooking. Little hands like to reach up and pull down on the handles. 
  9. When opening a new toy, examine it for batteries and small pieces before handing it over to little kids. 
  10. If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure each person in the vehicle is able to be properly buckled including not wearing coats in the car. Other precautions to take are making sure there will be at least one designated driver who will not consume any alcohol, giving yourself plenty of time to clear the car of all frost and snow, and keeping the cell phone put away while driving.