MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Celebrating the holiday season brings joy and wonderful memories, but it can also be a new experience for parents celebrating the season with small children for the first time.
The Gift of Life Foundation aims to provide families with education and resources to provide safe, healthy environments for the new lives they bring into the world.
During the holiday season, GOLF Family Coaching Director Paige Mitchell says there are a number of safety measures new parents may not think to take when purchasing gifts, decorating and preparing food and snacks.
Plugs - Mitchell says it's important to cover plugs. She also suggested not having a lot of different items plugged into one outlet
Food safety - Try not to have hard candy laying around that small children can easily grab and choke on. Mitchell says parents usually remember to cut meals into small, edible pieces for small children but it's the snack trays they tend to forget about. Cubed cheese, nuts, grapes and olives can all be a choking hazard for small children, even though they are popular host snacks to lay out for guests.
Toys - Mitchell says most toys have designated ages they are intended for, and parents should pay attention to those warning labels when purchasing gifts.
Tree safety - While glass ornaments are more traditional, plastic ornaments are less dangerous for kids if they fall off the tree or get pulled down by little hands. The needles from the tree are also unsafe for children to ingest. Mitchell also warned parents to keep a watchful eye over their kids around other holiday plants like holly berries and poinsettias. She said, to children, they look like tasty, bright fruit, but they are poisonous and can make them sick.
Mitchell says it is important for parents to be mindful of the tangible precautions they can take to help ensure safety in their homes during the holiday season, but constant active attention is the most important thing they can give to their children.
The Gift of Life Foundation provides resources for families, including family coaches, nurse-family partnerships, and childbirth information. For more information, you can visit their website.