At this time of the year, we think of the holiday dangers rather than the same dangers that fill emergency rooms around the country each day. Mistletoe and dangerous toys should certainly be on our list of concerns but do not forget about the most common types of injuries that occur year round -— poisonings, chokings, falls and burns.
The single most dangerous item during the holidays may be grandma’s purse, where her medications may be left in places accessible to children. They may even be set out for her to remember to take them. When our older relatives and friends travel, they may not think to place their pills out of the reach of children. They pill case is placed on the night stand or bathroom counter rather than up high and away from little hands looking for candy.
Parents should be on the lookout for potential for mishaps in visits to homes that haven’t been “child-proofed.” Be vigilant and inspect homes for unblocked stairways and other hazards non-parents may have missed.
There are two common seasonal injuries — that’s when a child pulls over a Christmas tree or sees the candle burning and decides to play with fire. Trees should be securely fastened to the wall and toddlers should not be permitted close enough to a tree to tug on it. Candles should also be placed on fireproof plates and away from any low areas or counters that are easily climbed.
Other dangers to watch for include easy access to alcohol at holiday gatherings. During a large party, guests may leave half-imbibed cups around the house. Small children may wander the house sampling the drinks. Children often show up at ERs showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning.