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6 Safety Tips for Traveling with Children this Holiday Season

From the Show: Health Radio
Summary: Bulky coats and car seats don't mix and can actually hurt your child.
Air Date: 12/17/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Jennifer Hoekstra, Injury Prevention Coordinator
Jennifer HoekstraJennifer Hoekstra is injury prevention coordinator at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Program exists to eliminate unintentional childhood injury and death. As the lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids, the program educates families, agencies, health care professionals and children on various safety topics.
6 Safety Tips for Traveling with Children this Holiday Season
During the holidays, you may be traveling to various locations in order to see loved ones. Even though this time of year can be joyous, it can also be stressful when it comes to keeping everything under control and safe.

When traveling for holidays, keep these six safety tips in mind:

In the Car
Bulky coats and car seats don't mix. Now that it's cold outside, cover babies with a blanket to keep them warm after they are properly strapped securely car seats. Bulky winter clothes and coats can keep a car seat from doing its job.

In the Kitchen
Keep hot food out of the reach of little hands. The kitchen is guaranteed to be busy, no matter whose house you're in. Some relatives may not be used to having babies in their kitchens or at the dining tables. Ask relatives to hold off on tablecloths or placemats where the baby can reach and pull hot things down. Also, be sure that pot handles and other dishes aren't close to the edge of the counter or table where they can be pulled down by curious little ones.

By the Fireplace
Double-check screens for the fireplace. You may not have a fireplace in your home, but other relatives might. If there's a fireplace in the home, make sure it's protected by a sturdy screen. Remember that glass screens can take a long time to cool down. Keep the little ones away from this area.

Wherever Medicine is Stored
Keep medicine up and away. Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. In fact, in 67% of medicine-related cases, the medicine was within reach of a child, such as in a purse, left on a counter or dresser, or found on the ground. The best way to avoid any potential problems is to keep all medicine up high and away from the kids. Don't forget about things you might not consider "medicine," like diaper cream, vitamins or eye drops.

In the Bedroom
Plan for safe sleep and more. Maybe your holiday travel plans mean you'll be spending the night somewhere. You may be fine with crashing on the couch, but make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep. While you're at it, it's a great time to check that grandma's house has a working carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm.

The Room Where You Party & Play
Be sure to clean up when the party is done. It is so important to keep a close eye on children while opening gifts. Many new toys and electronics may enter your home this holiday season. Be sure the wrapping and packaging is disposed of properly so small children will not choke, and also be sure children are playing with age-appropriate toys.

Listen in as Jennifer Hoekstra, injury prevention coordinator, shares the top six safety tips when traveling with children.