Family Guide to Holiday Safety

Want to know the best tips for holiday safety? This is a guest post by Penny Bowen, M.D.Excellent and simple tips from a doctor to keep your family safe this holiday season! Share this with family members you are visiting this week!

If your kids are anything like mine, they spend the holiday season anxiously awaiting the opportunity to try out their gifts and new toys. Though we all hope for a smooth and injury-free celebration, December is one of the busiest times of the year for emergency rooms across the nation. From accidentally swallowing small objects to taking a hard fall off a brand new skateboard, there are countless ways children can injure themselves.

While many injuries are treatable at home, some injuries require a trip to the doctor or emergency room. As a parent myself, I know the importance of trusting your gut. If something doesn’t look right, or you spot symptoms such as severe swelling, intense pain, loss of range of motion or if a joint cannot be moved, I recommend seeking out a medical professional immediately.

Luckily, there are several precautions parents can take to help keep their kids injury-free this holiday season. Below are my top five reminders for toy safety.

Check the Recommended AgeGirl in Santa hat with gift. Good holiday safety practice to check the age ranges of toys before gifting.

 Toys typically have a recommended age on the packaging and this should be adhered to in order to help avoid injuries. Make sure the toy is suitable for your little one and remember to check for safety recalls.

Prioritize Proper GearKids with gear riding scooters is one way to practice holiday safety

Every year bikes, skateboards and scooters are popular gifts, and this year, hoverboards can be added to the list. Remember to invest in the proper safety equipment such as knee and elbow pads, helmets and wrist guards, along with new toys to help prevent broken bones and head injuries. For hoverboard-type toys, I’d suggest reviewing the user’s manual for warnings and safety guidelines.

Avoid Choking Hazards

 Many toys come with small pieces and parts that can be accidentally ingested. Be sure to open packages with your child to inspect the pieces and help put toys together to prevent choking or ingestion.  

Exercise Caution with Batteries

U.S. hospitals see an increased amount of thermal burn injuries among children under the age of 5 during the holidays from outlets and chargers. Battery chargers can cause severe skin damage through thermal burns and small batteries, if accidentally swallowed, can cause gastrointestinal burns. Make sure to assist your child while using or charging batteries for new electronics.

 Keep an Eye on the DecorationsBaby chewing on ornament. Keep decorations out of reach for proper holiday safety.

Younger children can be easily enthralled with shiny objects, so make sure ornaments, ribbons and decorative lights are secured and out of reach to prevent cuts, choking or burns.

This can be a hectic time of year, but taking just a few extra minutes to implement safety measures can help ensure you and your loved ones have a healthy and enjoyable holiday season.  

Dr. Penny Bowen


Penny Bowen, M.D., is a musculoskeletal radiologist at EVDI Medical Imaging. For more information on EVDI and its East Valley locations, visit www.evdi.com.  

JoAnn Crohn

CEO/Founder at No Guilt Mom
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator and life coach who helps moms feel confident in raising empowered, self-sufficient kid while pursuing their own goals & passions.

She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker who appears in national media. Work with her personally in Balance VIP

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