We get many admissions to the hospital during the holiday season due to safety pitfalls. The toddler’s environment at home may be safe and child-proofed, but what is the environment like when he/she visits Grandma or Aunt Sue? The following are a few types of cases I can remember off the top of my head:
· Young children taking older relative’s medicines
Many older relatives have their meds in baggies, or easy to open pill dispensers. The meds may be in a purse, in the refrigerator, or dropped on the floor. If a little one gets a hold of a strong heart medication, pain pill, or even certain kinds of vitamins, it can lead to tragic results.
· Young children staying at homes that are not child-proofed
When I worked in Arizona, we had so many cases of grandchildren drowning during visits. The families would all say the same thing, “I only turned my back for a minute…”or, “We never thought he could open the door…”
· Not using Sudden Infant Death precautions when traveling
I have seen where parents or grandparents make an “infant bed” by putting the baby in the middle of an adult bed and place pillows around the baby so she/he does not roll off. Not every single baby will die if placed in that kind of environment, only a certain percentage will. Are you willing to take that chance? Invest in a portable crib like a Pack-n-Play and use it at home from time to time so your baby will be accustomed to it when you travel.
· New environments causing new triggers for your child’s asthma
Smoke scented sofas, dusty old pillows/bedding, new cats/dogs, or even different regional trees/pollen may cause an asthma attack. Keeping your child well controlled with their prescribed asthma controller medications is a big part of avoiding an asthma attack. Bring and follow the doctor’s asthma action plan for your child. Don’t forget to bring the asthma emergency medication and spacer with you on the trip.
When you think about it, how long did it take you to child-proof your home? So, when you visit this holiday, take some time to secure your child’s environment.
I wish you and your family a safe and peaceful holiday season,