New Year’s Eve is a fun and exciting time of the year. The kids are on winter break and there is plenty of food, parties, and maybe a little confetti!
Aside from all of the glitter and noisemakers, there can be many hidden dangers around this holiday. Check out my top 10 tips to keep your kids safe this New Year’s Eve:
1.Alcohol- Although these are not ordered by importance, I did put alcohol at the top of my list for a reason. There is plenty of alcohol around at gatherings and parties on New Year's Eve. Please be sure to lock your liquor cabinets to protect children of all ages. I also recommend having serious discussions with your middle school and high school children regarding the dangers of alcohol consumption. It is especially important if they will not be under your supervision this holiday.
2.Driving- You cannot control the actions of others, but you can control your own-- be smart and get off the road. I suggest avoid driving or at least try and get off of the roads before midnight this New Year's Eve. In some parts of the country there might be snow on the ground or even ice, which is a recipe for disaster. Even the most cautious drivers cannot avoid the dangers of drunk drivers and hazardous weather conditions. Have a set plan with your teen drivers well before the holiday. If possible, have them stay in one location for the entire evening.
3.Fireworks- Every year there are thousands of injuries and fires related to at-home fireworks. Instead of putting your family at risk, head to a local parade or public fireworks done by professionals.
4.Firearms- Celebratory gunfire is also a no-no. This is basic physics-- what goes up, must come down....leading to injury and possibly death.
5.Parties- Inevitably there will be lots of parties around New Year's Eve. If you are hosting, remember who your guests are- including children. If children are at the party, be sure they are supervised or have a babysitter (depending on their age). Back to number 1, lock alcohol cabinets, clearly label which beverages are alcoholic and which ones are not, and keep them out of reach of children. Another safer option would be to have an alcohol-free celebration. Lastly, if you are already hosting a party, have your children invite a couple of friends to stay over. That way, you know where they are for the evening and that they are safe under your roof.
6.Ingestions- Protect your child from ingestions of alcohol, cleaning products, medications etc. by locking these items away and clearly labeling them. Never place products in unmarked containers or transfer from their original packaging or bottles. The National Poison Control Center is open 24/7. I suggest programming their phone number into your cell phone: 1-800-222-1222.
7.Decorations- Confetti, glitter, noisemakers, balloons, piñatas. These are just a few items that you may use this holiday. Balloons, confetti, and glitter are known to cause eye injuries and are also a choking hazard. Please choose items wisely when planning your holiday decor.
8.Curfews- Again, ensure you have a set plan ahead of time with your children regarding what time you want them home. If they are sleeping out, be sure to have contact information for where they are staying and touch base with the parents beforehand.
9.Food safety- If hosting a party, inquire about any food allergies your guests may have prior to planning your menu for the evening. Also ensure all food is handled and prepared appropriately for the evening- including good hand hygiene, proper refrigeration, and safe temperatures for all meats. No one wants to start 2020 with a foodborne illness.
10.Water safety- Drowning is a top cause of death in children. In some parts of the country, the holiday might be celebrated around a pool, lake, or beach. It is essential to watch children 100% of the time around water. If needed, hire a lifeguard for the evening or have a designated individual for water patrol. In the case of an emergency, call 911.
I want to wish everyone a safe, fun, and healthy new year!
Until next time,