How to Keep Your Children Safe During the Holiday Season?
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Some of the biggest holidays come in the final quarter of the year, with festivities of all shapes and sizes inviting family fun. This is the perfect time to make long-lasting memories with your children.
Unfortunately, it’s not all gingerbread and twinkle lights. Parents need to remain cautious during the holiday season. The world we live in is far from perfect, and there are real dangers that cannot be swept under the rug. Parents must ensure that proper safety precautions aren’t forgotten amidst all of the fun and excitement of the holidays. When it comes to your family’s well-being, it’s better to be safe than to be sorry:
1. Know Your Child’s Whereabouts
Whether you’re at the Jingle Bells Festival or doing some last-minute gift-buying in a busy shopping mall, the holidays mean crowds. In the tide of humanity, it’s far too easy to get separated from your children. Lured by shiny displays, kids wander off, and before you look up from your shopping list, they’re nowhere to be found.
Avoid this nightmare scenario by equipping your child with a kids smart watch. Its GPS tracking feature will let you know where they are at all times. With a smartwatch, your child can call and send texts, so you can easily stay in constant communication. These devices even let you set customizable “safe zones,” so if kids stray outside the store or beyond the festival grounds, you’ll know.
If your child is too young for a smartwatch, consider other child-tracking tags. These gadgets can be slipped into a child’s pocket so you can monitor their whereabouts. Simply knowing where your children are at any given time is a huge part of making sure they’re safe.
2. Insist Your Kids Stick With Others
Safety is often found in numbers. If your child is going sledding or skating, tell them they need to go — and stay near — their friends. Teenagers attending holiday parties should plan on carpooling with a friend. Bad things are less likely to happen when kids are surrounded by support.
Simply instruct your children to stick with someone at all times. This could be a friend at a school event, a parent at a shopping center, or another family member at a festival. Being with someone they trust is not only more enjoyable, but safer overall.
3. Dress Them for the Weather
Unless you live in the Deep South, the holiday season is likely to get chilly. An important part of keeping your children safe this time of year is making sure they’ve dressed appropriately for the weather. Layers will help retain body heat, and hats and temperature-rated mittens are a must.
Dressing for the weather includes the necessary safety gear for winter activities. If you’re taking your kids skiing, you should make them wear helmets. Sledding, ice skating, and snowmobiling may all require safety gear to ensure kids have injury-free fun.
Not only do you want to prevent injury, but you also want to avoid illness. While you can’t catch a cold simply by being cold, the human body isn’t as good at fighting off illnesses during the winter. When immune systems are weakened, it’s easier for cold and flu viruses to take hold. While dressing warmly doesn’t guarantee immunity from sickness, it will help. Plus, you’ll avoid frostbite and hypothermia!
4. Deck the Halls With Caution
Holiday decorations are part and parcel of the season’s festive aura. However, decorations can go wrong if you’re not careful. Especially when kids are involved, there are a couple of extra precautions you’ll need to take.
These security measures will often depend on the ages of your children. If you have toddlers in your home, keep breakable glass ornaments out of reach. Be aware, too, of any small objects that could become choking hazards. These should be kept out of little ones’ hands and properly secured.
Other precautions pertain to the entire family. Too many Christmas lights plugged into a single power strip could become a fire hazard. Lighted candles, dried-out pine needles, and fireplaces also need to be watched carefully to prevent the risk of fire. Consider using flame-free candles for a safer holiday glow.
5. Set a Curfew
Tweens and teens do not appreciate being told that they have to cut the fun short to be home by a certain time. Regardless, setting a curfew is a good idea this time of year. The later in the night it gets, the more likely some unfortunate circumstances can occur.
Take New Year’s Eve, for instance. Drunk driving is a serious problem at the turn of the calendar. This is not a time you would want your teen to be out on the roads if you can help it. Let them host an NYE sleepover at your house instead. They can ring in the new year with friends without any of them having to brave the roads to get home.
Curfews may also come in handy on nights when a lot of snowfall is expected. Driving in the snow is a challenge whatever the time of day, but navigating roads in the dark makes it harder. Ease your mind by insisting your kids be home before night falls.
You can still have a ton of fun this holiday season while being careful. When everyone greets the new year healthy and happy, all of the precautions will have been worth it.