Some parents may not realize that the holiday season can be a dangerous time for their children. Not only must parents be concerned with special risks presented by the season, such as toxic mistletoe and dangerous toys, but they must also protect their children from common child personal injuries that occur within the household. According to James Schmidt, an emergency room physician at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, most child personal injuries that occur during the holiday season are the same types of injuries that occur commonly throughout the year. These types of injuries include choking, poisoning, and falls and burns. In fact, Schmidt pointed out that the single most common type of injury sustained by children is when children ingest prescription drugs they obtained from a holiday guest’s (grandma, uncle, neighbor, etc.) bag or purse. Schmidt stated he sees many more cases in the ER of children who have ingested a relative’s blood pressure medication then he does a toxic plant.
More holiday-specific injuries include a tree falling onto a child or when a child ingests an alcoholic beverage left out at a holiday party. To avoid these common types of holiday personal injuries, parents should ensure trees are securely fastened to the wall and throw away any abandoned glasses. Parents should also decorate safely, “child proof” their homes and give age-appropriate toys. If you would like to read more on this topic please see Ensuring safety for your child during the holiday season.