Friday, December 17, 2010

Keeping Kids Safe During the Holidays

Author: Suzy Buglewicz

Keeping Kids Safe During the Holidays
With the holiday season in full swing, shopping, decorating, parties and family gatherings can take center stage making this the one of the busiest times of the year for families. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also one of the busiest times of the year for emergency departments due to unexpected accidents and injuries.
Follow these tips for keeping your kids safe during the holiday season:
1. Parking Lot Precautions – Shopping malls and parking lots are full of distracted shoppers and drivers. Keep an eye on the kids at all times while shopping and don't let them run ahead of you once you get outside. Hold your child's hand until they are safely in the car and be extra cautious when backing out of parking spots.
2. Hazardous Holly and Mistletoe - Popular holiday greens used for decorating like holly and mistletoe are poisonous if ingested. Symptoms of plant poisoning include diarrhea, a rash and vomiting. Keep kids safe by decorating with artificial holiday greens found at craft stores.
3. Control the Spread of Germs – Practice healthy habits by encouraging kids to wash their hands frequently. Discourage "double dipping" at large family gatherings by preparing a separate plate of snacks for each child.
4. Eat Healthy – Minimize tummy aches that can quickly put a damper on holiday cheer by providing healthy snacks like fruit, vegetable and cheese platters, along side the holiday treats.
5. Put a Damper on Fire Danger - Keep lit candles, wires and extension cords well out of reach. Check for frayed wires on light strands and never use indoor extension cords for outdoor lights.
6. Who's Watching the Kids? - During large gatherings, put someone in charge of watching the kids or volunteer to take turns. Many accidents happen when kids are unsupervised because everyone thinks someone else is watching them.
7. Manage Kitchen Chaos – The kitchen is a hub of activity during the holiday season. Keep sharp knives and hot baking pans out of kids' reach. Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove so kids can't accidentally grab them or run into them.
8. Give Age Appropriate Toys - Before letting your child play with a new toy, make sure that it's age appropriate and that your child knows how to use it properly. If a toy or small part is small enough to fit into the mouths of toddlers, it is a choking hazard.
9. Alleviate Kid Stress – A disruption in their regular routine is the main reason kids suffer from holiday stress. Help them cope by sticking to a routine as much as possible and making sure they get plenty of rest. Start a holiday tradition they can look forward to every year like decorating a gingerbread house.
10. Enjoy Safe Travels – Other homes you visit during the holidays might not be childproof. Watch out for danger spots like fragile ornaments, dangerous toys and household items that should be kept out of reach.
The staff at Healthgen wishes everyone a safe and healthy holiday. If you do need medical assistance, iTriage can help. To search symptoms, medical conditions, or to find the closest urgent care center or emergency room, download the free iTriage app for your smartphone or visit
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Educational Play Toys: Give Children Something Useful This Christmas!

Author: Marcia Griffiths

Educational play toys allow children to learn valuable lessons that will help them in the future and the popularity of this category of toy is growing considerably within the Christmas gifts market. These days more people are realising the value of buying a child something worthwhile that could instil in them precious knowledge rather than something that only has cosmetic appeal and is inevitably a five minute wonder and waste of money. There is nothing worse than spending a fortune on a Christmas gift for a child and then seeing it cast aside just a few days later. Traditionally, toys that have an educational aspect are designed to capture children's imagination and be used over and over again which means they are a good investment. Learning through play is vitally important in any child's life and making learning fun is the best way to filter important messages through. Things that could make a significant difference to a younger person's lifestyle development, such as healthy eating for example, can be put across in a attention grabbing way so that the messages stay with them for life. At Christmas we are met with so many thousands of choices when buying children's gifts and it is often very difficult to find something that is unique amongst all the dolls, cars and other traditional toys and games that are available online or in the shops. However, if you shift your search into the educational toys category you could be very surprised at what you might find. Learning games these days are not just about puzzles! There are a great deal of innovative products out there just waiting to be wrapped up and presented to the younger members on your Christmas list. Give children a valuable gift this Christmas: the gift of learning.

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About the AuthorMarcia Griffiths is the Managing Director of Principle Play Products, the company behind Healthy Helpers, a range of fun children’s books, educational play toys and classroom resources that use unique, endearing characters such as Marcia the Mango and Andy the Avocado to help children aged 3-10 learn about healthy eating. Any school, nursery or parent looking for an innovative way to educate pupils about the benefits of healthy eating in a fun way and to introduce them to different cultures, is sure to find Healthy Helpers a valuable resource. For more information visit