Fort Worth, Texas,
11:11 AM

12 Ways Of Christmas Safety

Making your list and checking it twice before you travel

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are great! But it’s also the busiest time of the year, and it’s hard to think about everything. We asked our experts for a few ideas to make sure your children are safe during your holiday travels. What could be a better gift?

  1. Make sure your house is safe while you are away. Alert the neighbors that you will be out of town. Stop the mail and newspaper from delivering or make sure a neighbor can pick it up for you. Now there’s even technology available to set a timer on the lights in your house. The timer lets you keep your lights on and turn them off the same as you would if you were actually at home, making any potential bad guy think you are there.
  2. Don’t let everyone know your plans. Remember it’s not only old high school friends and co-workers following your every move. Crooks are definitely Facebook and Twitter savvy. Don’t announce to everyone that you are taking off soon or that you are trying to get packed tomorrow. Do things the old fashioned way and call the people who need to know you will be out.
  3. Get your rest. A report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that drivers who sleep only five or six hours in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to crash as drivers who get seven hours of sleep or more. Crash rates increase with every hour of lost sleep.
  4. Make sure your child is secure in their car seat or booster before you travel. You can’t be too careful on the road, both in the U.S. and out of the country. Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of kids 14 years and under in the United States.
  5. And secure on the plane too. Buy the extra ticket for your baby and make sure your child is properly protected in an approved safety seat. The No. 1 way children are injured in planes is due to turbulence. For safety, children need to be either restrained in their safety seat or in the lap belt in the plane seat.
  6. Bring a current picture of your child with you on your trip. Have a very specific description of what your child is wearing in case your son or daughter gets lost. In this day and age of cameras on your phone, it’s easy to take a picture of your child that morning.
  7. This is an uncomfortable one, but so important. Let your child know it’s OK to scream and fight if someone tries to grab them. However, just throwing a fit may not work. We’ve all seen kids screaming and crying as parents carry them out of the store. If the child is old enough they need to know to scream “this isn’t my Mommy or Daddy, help me” instead of just screaming like they are upset because they were told “no.”
  8. Traveling with asthma. Be sure to pack your child’s quick-relief medicine and long-term control medicine. Keep them where you can reach them and not packed away. Pack your peak flow meter, health insurance cards and your asthma action plan. Consider purchasing a portable nebulizer. Call ahead to where you are traveling and discuss your child’s triggers. Bring your child’s pillow and blanket from home.
  9. Childproof your grandparents’ home. Make sure they know about any nut allergies or any other allergy they should know about during your stay. Check all the rooms for any electrical cords, cleaning supplies and loose pills on the floor. Grandparents usually leave them out so they can remember to take them. Don’t let this happen. Put the pills away. Often times they aren’t child proofed and kids can easily mistake them for candy. Also remember to unpack and put away any medications that you bring with you.
  10. Avoiding food allergies takes extra prep work. Research local hospitals and medical care wherever you are traveling. Also call ahead or go online to find out about area grocery stores, restaurants and any other place you may stop along the way. Make your family aware. Yes grandma makes the best pecan pie, but make sure everyone knows your child has allergies and one bite can mean horrible consequences. Pack your own food if necessary. Stay alert and be prepared with your child’s medications
  11. Be aware of the new surroundings for your kiddo. If they have a family pool without a fence, talk to your children about them. Make them aware of the dangers of stairs and banisters, and go outside with them to point out dangers, such as rakes, power tools, spots where there may be snakes and other critters.
  12. Be safe. Cook Children's Trauma team sees lots of ATV/4-wheeler injuries during the holiday break. If your child is on an ATV, please make sure it's built for a child. No child under 5 should be on one at all, let alone driving it. If your child is on a bike, hover board or skateboard, please be sure your kids have on the proper safety equipment (helmets please) and establish the rule of safety first. With family over, it can be easy to think someone else is watching your kids. Mom and dad, make sure you are the ones responsible for supervision.

Hope this list helps during this busy time of year. Happy holidays from Cook Children’s.

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