Polly’s Guidelines for Holiday Safety

Certain safety considerations should be made for holiday variances. For instance, you would not apply the same set of suggestions for Halloween when children dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat in the dark, as for Christmas when lighted trees adorn so many houses and pose potential fire risks.

  • Trick-or-Treat with a group and take along a parent or a teen-aged brother or sister.
  • Check the Megan’s Law website for sex offenders who live in your neighborhood and avoid their homes.
  • Make sure that someone in your group has a fully charged cell phone.
  • Trick-or-Treat in neighborhoods you know, you trust and that are well lit. Stay out of dark alleys, dark stairwells or remote locations.
  • Discuss your Halloween route with your parents and the time you will return.
  • Wear clothing that is light in color and not too long. Add something that glows in the dark or is reflective.
  • Wear make-up instead of a mask that can inhibit vision.
  • Take a flashlight and walk on the sidewalks.
  • Cross streets at the crosswalks and stay away from cars.
  • Stay outside the homes you visit.
  • Be sure all treats are wrapped and sealed. Eat them only after a parent checks them first.
  • Trust your feelings! Stay away from strange situations.
  • If you do not feel safe Trick-or-Treating, do not Trick-or-Treat.
  • Have a fun and SAFE Halloween.

Polly’s Guidelines to a Safe & Happy Holiday

  • Make sure Christmas trees are well anchored and watered so they do not become a fire hazard.
  • Keep all breakable Christmas ornaments, electrical extensions and burning objects (candles, incense and potpourri pots) out of small children’s reach.
  • Make sure your fireplace is screened and all trees, presents, and children are kept away from fire.
  • When wrapping presents keep scissors out of children’s hands.
  • Make sure infants and toddlers don’t play with ribbon.
  • When involving children in holiday baking make sure adults handle all of the hot items.
  • While shopping never let your children out of your sight.
  • If your child is lost in a mall or department store, demand that the store take appropriate action.
  • Follow all age guidelines on toys and do not deviate.
  • Teach children not to succumb to temptation of toys or candy in a shopping environment.
  • Request an escort back to your car when you are finished shopping at night.
  • Never leave your children unattended in a car.
  • Create well-supervised activities for children during Christmas break.

Toy Safety Tips for Holiday Shoppers

  • Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child.
  • For infants, toddlers and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small parts that could pose a fatal choking hazard.
  • Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes, noses and other potential small parts.
  • For all children under age 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.
  • Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under age 8.
  • Be a label reader. Look for labels that give age recommendations and use that information as a guide.
  • Check instructions for clarity. They should be clear to you, and when appropriate, to the child.
  • Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys, which can cause suffocation, before they become deadly playthings.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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