Safety tips for baby’s first holiday season

Health

(CLEVELAND CLINIC) – For new parents – celebrating baby’s first holiday season can be a whirlwind of excitement.

But as you transition from a family of two to a family of three, Purva Grover, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’s reminds parents there are extra safety precautions to keep in mind with a new baby at home.

“Things you want to watch out for are small batteries – which can actually fall out of items very easily,” she said. “Also, small pieces of the glass ornaments, and those little clips that can go on them when you’re putting the tree up, or even when you’re putting a wreath up – there are those small little spikes, and pinecones, which children can ingest and actually cause a lot of damage.”

Dr. Grover said button battery ingestion can be especially dangerous, if not, fatal to an infant.

When you’re exchanging gifts, or assembling items and toys, be mindful to keep clutter and plastic pieces off of the floor and away from little hands.

Dr. Grover said small children love to put everything and anything in their mouths, so you can’t leave any items laying around.

When you’re decorating, make sure there aren’t any breakable ornaments, trinkets, or electrical cords, within your child’s reach.

And every now and then, a well-meaning friend or relative may give a gift to your child that they might not be ready for yet.

If you’re ever not sure if it’s safe to let your child play with a gift, Dr. Grover said don’t be afraid to do some research before allowing your child to have it.

“If, as a parent, you feel like, ‘I’m not sure if this is even appropriate,’ go ahead and make a phone call – talk to your doctor, talk to your friends, talk to the people who might have used this product before, look it up online,” she said. “The choices and resources are amazing out there, so you really can do a thorough job of looking up a product, but remember safety first, always safety first.”

If you have children of varying ages opening gifts together at the holidays, Dr. Grover advises having a designated area for the older kids to play with their toys. She also recommends educating older kids about why we keep dangerous toys away from the younger children.

And, of course, always make sure young children are appropriately supervised at all times.

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