Make Sure it’s a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season for Little Ones

Enjoy the Christmas Season Safely

Enjoy the Christmas Season Safely

GRAND RAPIDS — Here we are, right in the middle of another festive, sometimes hectic, holiday season.Family gatherings and out-of-town guests are quite common this time of year. For those who will be hosting children, or if you are visiting someone with children, the staff of the Kent County Health Department has a few reminders on how to make sure it’s a safe and happy holiday season for infants and children.

American Indian children at the Chicago Public Schools T7 Cookie Party on Saturday, December 21

American Indian children at the Chicago Public Schools T7 Cookie Party on Saturday, December 21

ABC’s of Infant Safe Sleep: Be sure if a family member is watching an infant, that they know babies should be Alone, on their Backs, in an empty Crib. You can have them share a room, but not a bed. These practices can help prevent injury – even death – in infants. More information about infant safe sleep is available atwww.michigan.gov/safesleep.

Stow away certain items: Whether you are the host or the guest, make sure you keep medications, needles, or other items that can be harmful to toddlers or small children out of their reach. If you have expired or unwanted medicines that require disposal, check out www.wmtakebackmeds.com.

Décor Dangers: Make sure toddlers and small children are supervised when around garland, lights or other decorations. Some of these items can present a choking hazard or can cause injury if they fall on a child. (This advice is also helpful if you have small pets.)Christmas Tree

Immunize: Infants and the elderly are far more susceptible to viruses than healthy adults. If you are going to be around newborns, talk with your health care provider about getting a TDaP vaccine to protect babies from pertussis (whooping cough). And the CDC advises all adults to get vaccinated against the flu, which can have serious complications in the very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. It can take up to two weeks for a flu immunization to become effective, so the sooner you get it, the better-prepared you will be if exposed to flu. Learn more about flu prevention or schedule your vaccination at www.stickittotheflu.com.

Editor’s Note: These reminders to keep children safe during the holidays were supplied by the Kent County Health Department, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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