Have a hazard-free holiday

Have a hazard-free holiday

‘Tis the season to be…safe? Yes, according to experts. Use these tips from Michael Dingeldein, MD, Medical Director of the Level I Pediatric Trauma Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, to keep your holidays happy and healthy.

To prevent food poisoning:

  • Follow cooking instructions carefully.
  • Keep raw foods and cooked foods separate. Use different utensils when preparing them.
  • Wash your hands, utensils and counters often with warm, soapy water. Rinse well.
  • Refrigerate leftovers right away.

To prevent choking:

  • Read safety warnings and age recommendations on toy labels.
  • Avoid toys with small parts, sharp points or objects that shoot into the air.
  • Keep decorations with small pieces out of reach.
  • Pay close attention to young children around new toys, candy, nuts, balloons, button batteries, coins and other small objects.

To prevent fires:

  • Check decorative lights for frayed wires, broken sockets and loose connections. Replace damaged sets.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets. Do not use more than three sets of lights per extension cord.
  • Place decorations away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and portable heaters. “Keep candles at a safe distance from curtains and other flammable objects. Burns are a serious injury that we see regularly, and they are 100 percent preventable,” adds Dr. Dingeldein.
  • Ensure artificial trees are labeled as “fire-resistant.”
  • Turn off decorative lights, candles and fireplaces when leaving home or going to bed.
  • Install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

To keep family outings safe:

  • Buckle up before taking off in a car or plane. Also, make sure children are in age-appropriate restraints.
  • Supervise young children when visiting friends and family in homes that are not childproofed.
  • Wear reflective clothing, walk on sidewalks and use crosswalks while outdoors at night for holiday fun. “Be alert while crossing the street with your kids, and teach them good habits early, to avoid serious injury from cars,” states Dr. Dingeldein.

Enter for your chance to win!

One Under the Rainbow reader will be awarded a selection of Disney-themed merchandise from the Kohl’s Cares® Cause Merchandise Program’s Holiday 2014 collection. Visit Rainbow.org/UnderTheRainbow to enter for your chance to win.

The Kohl’s Cares® Cause Merchandise Program provides funding to the Kohl’s Safe Rides for All Kids Program at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. To learn more about Kohl’s Cares®, go to Kohls.com/Cares.

For a video on button battery safety, visit TheBatteryControlled.com.

Drive safely this season

Wherever you are going this holiday season, the Kohl’s Safe Rides for All Kids Program at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital wants everyone to get there safely. Visit Rainbow.org/Kohls to learn about the best way to transport every member of your family.

Michael Dingeldein

Medical Director, Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

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