It may be the most wonderful time of the year but with school out and the kiddos running wild at home, make sure you help them play it safe with these tips from Nurse Jane at Homegrown Children’s Eco Nursery.
Trees and decorations
Many of you may have already put up your tree, or will be doing so very soon.
If you are buying an artificial tree (the eco friendly option) check that it is labelled as fire resistant and use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim it.
Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, have small removable parts or that resemble candy or food, which may tempt a child to eat them. Small ornaments, and those that a child may pull at, need to be hung high to prevent choking accidents or the tree being pulled over.
Lights, new or old, need to be checked for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and damaged sets thrown out. When fitting the lights do not over load sockets or leave trails of wires that can be hazardous and never leave a tree unattended when the lights are on.
If you do prefer a real tree – many of which are grown especially for the season- ensure that it is fresh. Trim some of the trunk to expose the wood and keep it standing in water to reduce its flammability.
Consider where you position your tree – does it block a regularly used doorway? Adults may remember to go a different way, but children may not.
Use recognised retailers, when buying toys to avoid toys that may not meet strict safety standards. Adhere to the age range and check for loose, small or sharp parts to avoid choking or injury. Remember that toys with pull strings that are too long can pose a hazard.
If toys need assembling follow the instructions provided to ensure they stay in one piece and avoid mains operated toys for little one to reduce the chance of electrical shock/burn.
Many of you will have visitors staying- take time to find out if they take any medication as they may, by habit, leave it counted out on the bedside table or in handbags where little ones can get hold of it.
After celebration meals or drinks tidy away cracker toys, unused balloons and half finished drinks to prevent choking or poisoning.
When visiting someone else’s home extra caution may be needed as it may not be child proofed like your own. There may not be stair gates or door locks but the choice of decorations may also be hazardous. Popular seasonal plants can be dangerous- contrary to popular belief poinsettias are not poisonous to humans; however holly and mistletoe berries are.
All in all travelling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase your child’s stress levels. Trying to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.
On the big day itself everything may be hectic –from rushing down stairs in the morning to cooking lunch. Keep little ones out of the kitchen a common place for children’s accidents. However with more people around and with care and planning we can prevent accidents and ensure our little ones have fun and remain safe.
For peace of mind please re-familiarise yourself with first aid measures.
First aid for a baby that is choking
• Give up to five back blows by holding the baby face down along your forearm with their head lower than their bottom and hitting them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades to dislodge the object. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
• Give up to five chest thrusts: turn the baby over so they are facing upwards, then place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples. Push inwards and upwards up to five times. If chest thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two.
Chest thrusts squeeze the air out of the baby’s lungs and may dislodge the blockage.
If the obstruction is mild:
- Encourage them to continue coughing
- Remove any obvious obstruction from the mouth.
If the obstruction is severe:
- Lean the child forward
- Stand or kneel behind the child and place you arms and hands around their waist.
- Make a clenched fist with one hand and place it with the thumb above the navel
- Cup the clenched fist with the other hand
- Give up to five abdominal thrusts by holding the child around the waist andpulling upwards and inwards above their belly button. If abdominal thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two.
- Abdominal thrusts squeeze the air out of the lungs and may dislodge the blockage.
- Call 999/998 if the object does not dislodge after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts.
First aid for a child (over 1) that is choking
- Give up to five back blows by hitting them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades to dislodge the object.This creates a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage. Dislodging the object will allow them to breathe again. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
- Call 999/998 if the object does not dislodge after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts.