Bring in the doctor! Today, Dr. Tamara Wrzesinski, a pediatrician with St. Peter’s Children’s Health Center shares helpful tips and reminders to keep us all safe during the holidays. We all have so many things going on in our lives and with our families that it’s easy to let the little things slide and become careless. If you’re looking for more to do this holiday season, check out the Holiday Fun Guide on SaratogaMama!
12 Tips for a Safe Holiday Season for You & Your Family
By: Tamara Wrzesinski, MD, St. Peter’s Children’s Health Center
The holiday season is a time to come together and celebrate wonderful traditions and spend time with family and loved ones. Unfortunately, the holiday season also means an increase in home accidents.
Here are some tips to help you and your family enjoy the season in a safe way!
- Never disconnect your smoke detectors while cooking – and make sure the batteries have been replaced.
- Never leave a candle unattended – and double check that it’s actually out before you leave the room or your home. (And – never leave a child alone in a room with a candle – even if it’s just a ‘for a minute.’)
- When decorating your home, be sure to watch children around small decorations that could be a choking hazard.
- Keep plants up high – curious children will want to check them out. If there is any question that they might have eaten a flower/berry/leaf call the poison control center immediately.
- Check to make sure you have an up-to-date fire extinguisher nearby when you’re cooking and read the instructions so that you know how to use it in an emergency.
- Have an area where you are cooking that is a “kid free zone” – and make sure your kids understand they need to stay away from hot surfaces.
- Use the stove’s back burners whenever possible and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk that pots with hot contents will be knocked over.
- Clean the counter surfaces – whether its grease on a stove or a surface where raw meat has been handled. This prevents bacteria and a potential fire hazard.
- When cooking with your kids put all your supplies out before your start so you can concentrate on what your kids are doing without the need to turn away to reach for other utensils or supplies.
- Wear clothing with sleeves that are short, close-fitting or tightly rolled up.
- Never hold a baby or a child while you are cooking.
- Be in the moment – don’t answer emails or texts while you are cooking. It’s too easy to be distracted doing too many things at one time.
And, one last tip - relax and enjoy while being safe! The holidays can be a stressful time of year for many people – so remember to take a deep breath when you need to and focus on the joy of making new memories that will be part of the fabric of your family’s story.
Wishing you and your family a safe and healthful holiday season!
Tamara J. Wrzesinski, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician with St. Peter’s Children’s Health Center. She completed her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital in Dartmouth. To schedule an appointment for your child with Dr. Wrzesinski, please call 518-525-2445.