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20 Tips for keeping children safe during the holidays

The holiday season is a magical time of year. However, it's also a time when parents must exercise extra caution with their children.

The holiday season’s hustle and bustle can be a fun and exciting time. However, holidays can be dangerous for children.

SCP Security has issued these 20 tips on how to keep children safe during the holidays, and all year round.

  1. If you have a real tree, keep the tree stand filled with water at all times to prevent the tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. If you buy a fake tree, make sure it is made of fire-resistant material. Make sure the stand is flat on the ground, and decorate the tree so that the weight is distributed evenly.
  2. Make sure your children’s toys are appropriate for their age and that the batteries cannot be easily removed. Young children are at risk of choking on batteries shaped like discs or button batteries.
  3. Gifts containing glass, perfume or cologne, poisonous substances, or sharp materials should not be placed under the tree.
  4. Keep alcohol out of children’s reach. Clean up any leftover drinks as soon as possible.
  5. Use power strips with circuit breakers built in. Avoid plugging in too many devices into a single electrical outlet. Keep cords out of the way or behind furniture, and cover any unused outlets with electrical outlet covers.
  6. If your child is helping you decorate, keep a close eye on him or her, especially when handling lighting, ornaments, and breakable items.
  7. Children should not be left alone in a room with lighted candles, matches, lighters, fireplaces, or any other source of flame or heat.
  8. Keep decorations out of children’s reach and secured to the wall. Any object small enough to pass through a toilet paper tube can obstruct a child’s airway.
  9. Take precautions if you’re going to the beach to keep your children safe, especially if the beach is crowded.
  10. Teach children to swim as early as possible, as well as survival skills like floating and treading water. Always keep an eye on children who are in or near water. A child should never swim by themselves. If a child is unable to swim, keep them away from areas where they could drown.
  11. When near water, young children or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-certified life jacket. There are numerous products on the market that claim to help children stay afloat, such as water wings, floaties, pool noodles, and so on, but these are not a replacement for life preservers or lifesaving devices in an actual emergency. Use these products only when a parent or other responsible adult is within arm’s reach of the child. Also, remember that wearing a life jacket or other flotation device is never an excuse to disregard other water safety precautions. When it comes to staying safe around water, life jackets alone are insufficient.
  12. In the event of an emergency, such as a fire or the injury of a sibling, it is critical parents create an “in case of emergency” list for children. It should include your home address and phone number, as well as your phone numbers and work address.
  13. Never ask a stranger to hold your baby or look after your child, not even for a second.
  14. Never leave your child alone in a car or in a stroller.
  15. Invest in a GPS tracking device for your child.
  16. Keep in touch with your children and make sure they have their home phone number, your cellphone number, and the address where they live.
  17. Teach your child to never accept anything from a stranger, that adults should not beg children for help, and that they must obtain your permission before leaving the house.
  18. Make sure your child knows to scream “help: and run away if a stranger tries to force them into a car.
  19. When your children are at home alone, call them frequently to see if they are okay and instruct them not to open the door to anyone, even if they know them.
  20. When going to shopping centres with your child, ensure they stay close to you. Remind them often to scream for help if someone tries to grab them.

Good to know: When a child goes missing, the first 24 hours are critical, and the statistical likelihood of finding the child alive decreases dramatically as time passes. The good news is that there is no longer a time limit for filing a missing person report.

 
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