The Safe Season

Common toddler holiday hazards, according to Rady children’s Hospital-San Diego:

Candles on decorative runners.

Children can pull them over and start a fire.

Potpourri.

The fragrant petals, bulbs and pods attract kids, who could eat them and choke.

Tree ornaments.

Glass ornaments left within reach can break and cut a child.

Guests purses.

Left lying around, they’re an invitation to grab things like medication.

Toy batteries.

Small electronics often use tiny batteries that are easily swallowed.

Dressing tips for safe outdoor winter playtime:

  • Dress kids in layers
  • Choose mittens, not gloves, to keep fingers warmer
  • Use a stocking cap or fleece-lined hat to keep the head warm and protect the ears from frostbite
  • Choose boots with enough room for extra-thick socks
  • Insist on UV-protective sunglasses to block snow glare
  • Always have kids wear sunscreen, even when its cloudy

True or False? You can catch a cold by being cold.

FALSE. Cold weather has nothing to do with getting sick. Possible reasons colds are more common in winter include vitamin D deficiencies due to less sunlight, dry air that lets viruses live longer and spending more time indoors, where germs are more likely to spread.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average child will get 8 to 10 colds in a typical year.

Antibiotics: A Matter of Course

If you’re giving your child antibiotics, be sure to give her the entire course of the prescription, even after she starts to feel better. According to experts, only taking an antibiotic for a few days can leave some bacteria alive. Not only can this result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can spread to other people, but it can also leave your child vulnerable to a recurrent infection. Read and follow the prescribing instructions that came with the medication, and if you’re still unsure, ask your pharmacist for guidance.