The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a fun and exciting time. However, holidays can be dangerous for children.
SCP Security has released these 20 tips on how to keep kids safe during the holidays and all year round.
- If you have a real tree, always keep the tree stand filled with water to prevent the tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is made of fireproof material. Make sure the stand is flat on the ground and decorate the tree so the weight is evenly distributed.
- Make sure your children’s toys are age-appropriate and the batteries cannot be easily removed. Small children are at risk of choking on disc or button batteries.
- Gifts containing glass, perfume or cologne, toxic substances or sharp materials should not be placed under the tree.
- Keep alcohol out of the reach of children. Clean up any leftover drinks as soon as possible.
- Use power strips with built-in circuit breakers. Don’t plug too many devices into a single outlet. Keep cords out of the way or behind furniture, and cover unused outlets with outlet covers.
- If your child is helping you decorate, keep an eye on them, especially when handling lights, ornaments, and breakable items.
- Children should not be left alone in a room with lit candles, matches, lighters, fireplaces, or other sources of flame or heat.
- Keep decorations out of the reach of children and attach them to the wall. Any object small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube can block a child’s airway.
- Take precautions when going to the beach to protect your children, especially when the beach is crowded.
- Teach children to swim, as well as survival skills like swimming and treading water, as early as possible. Always keep an eye on children in or near water. A child should never swim alone. If a child cannot swim, keep them away from areas where they could drown.
- When near water, small children or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. There are numerous products on the market claiming to help children stay afloat such as: Only use these products when a parent or other responsible adult is within reach of the child. Also remember that wearing a life jacket or other flotation device is never an excuse to disregard other safety precautions in the water. When it comes to staying safe on the water, life jackets alone are not enough.
- In an emergency such as For example, in the event of a fire or injury to a sibling, it is important that parents make an “emergency” list for children. It should include your home address and phone number, as well as your phone number and work address.
- Never ask a stranger to hold your baby or take care of your child, not even for a second.
- Never leave your child alone in the car or in the stroller.
- Invest in a GPS tracking device for your child.
- Keep in touch with your kids and make sure they have their home phone number, cell phone number and the address where they live.
- Teach your child never to accept anything from a stranger, that grown-ups should not ask children for help, and that they must get your permission before leaving home.
- Make sure your child can yell “help” and run away if a stranger tries to force them into a car.
- If your children are home alone, call them frequently to see if they are okay and instruct them not to answer the door for anyone, even if they know them.
- If you go to malls with your child, make sure they stay close to you. Remind them often to yell for help if someone tries to grab them.
Good to know: When a child goes missing, the first 24 hours are critical, and the statistical probability of finding the child alive decreases dramatically over time. The good news is that there is no longer a deadline for filing a missing person report.