‘Tis the Season – Holiday Safety
It is that time of year again, holiday season! If you have little ones in your house or visiting this holiday season, keep these tips in mind:
Decorate with Kids' Safety in Mind
- Kids are curious and will want to play with the ornaments on the tree, so you might as well prepare. Move the ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top of the tree. That makes room at the bottom for the ones that are safer for young kids.
- Lights are one of the best parts of holiday decorating. Take a look at the ones on your tree and in and around your home for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
Blow Out Candles and Store Matches Out of Reach
- Keep holiday candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and don’t forget to blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.
- Make a habit of placing matches and lighters in a safe place, out of children's reach.
Keep Harmful Plants Out of Reach
Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous out of reach of children or pets. This includes mistletoe berries, holly berry, and Jerusalem cherry.
Find the Perfect Toy for the Right Age
- Consider a child’s age when purchasing a toy or game this holiday season. It is worth a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure the gift is just right.
- Before you have settled on the perfect toy, check to make sure there are no small parts or other potential choking hazards.
Keep Button Batteries Away from Young Kids
Keep a special eye on small pieces, including button batteries that may be included in electronic toys or musical greeting cards.
Prevent Spills with Pot Handles
Kids love to reach, so to prevent burns from hot holiday food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the edge.
Engage Older Kids in Cooking
Teach older responsible kids how to cook safely. Teach them never to leave the kitchen while they are using the stove or oven. Instruct older kids to use oven mitts or potholders to remove items from the oven or stove and teach them how to use a microwave safely. Always supervise children in the kitchen.
New Car Seat Law in Pennsylvania
The new law requires children younger than age two to be secured in a car seat facing the rear of the vehicle until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer. Rear-facing car seats distribute the impact of a crash more equally, which better protects kids. Children younger than two are five times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a car crash if they are in a front-facing car seat, rather than rear-facing. The new law took effect on August 12. Law enforcement will issue verbal warnings to drivers in violation of the rear-facing requirement for the first year, with fines following in the years after.
Here's How New Law Affects Your Child in the Car
Suzanne Burt' s 9-year-old daughter sat in a car seat facing backward until she was 1. It was a best practice then, but times have changed and so has the law. Burt's son, Charlie, is 15 months old, and she plans to keep his car seat facing backwards until he's at least 2 years old, something that's now required by law. Law or no law, research shows that's the safest thing for kids, Burt said. It's not worth turning Charlie around sooner just so he doesn't have to bend his legs. "Even if you're the safest driver in the world, it just takes one person … to ram into you," said Burt, of Spring Garden Township.
On August 12, a new law took effect in Pennsylvania that requires children younger than 2 to be in rear-facing car seats until they max out the weight and height limits designated by the manufacturer. A few years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated guidance on child car seats, recommending that children remain rear-facing until age 2 or until they hit the maximum limits of the seat. Pennsylvania is the fourth state to require it. The first year, violators will get a warning and after that, there's a $125 fine.
Imagine a World Where Every Kid Is a Safe Kid