Top 4 Holiday Safety Tips from Chicago CPR!
Written by: kim wilschek
The holidays bring friends and family together in a magical way. But the holidays also come with increased safety hazards, such as poisoning and choking. A little extra attention can go a long way in preventing emergencies. Chicago CPR offers 4 simple steps to keep kids safe this holiday season:
1. Choose your holiday decorations wisely. Small ornaments and tinsel are choking hazards for young children and pets. Anything that you can fit through the opening of a standard toilet paper roll is too small for young children. Use large plastic ornaments on your tree and skip the tinsel. Plastic ornaments have come a long way over the past few years. Most people don’t even realize that my ornaments are plastic. If you are using animated decorations that require small button batteries, keep them out of your child’s reach and secure the battery cover properly. Some common holiday plants are poisonous. The Illinois Poison Control website has a plant guide, providing a toxicity rating to many common plants. Despite the myth, poinsettias are safe, with a toxicity rating of 0.
Other holiday plant ratings include:
- Amaryrllis and narcissus (paperwhites) - 1
- Holly, azalea, & mistletoe – 2
- Lilly of the Valley – 3
Call your healthcare provider or poison control at 800-222-1222 immediately for a suspected poisoning. Poison control counselors answer the phone 24/7.
2. Plan and supervise meals/party foods. Children under the age of 5 are at an increased choking risk. Many choking episodes are related to talking or moving around while eating. Provide seating areas for kids at parties or family gatherings. Put someone in charge of serving snacks to the kids, at a table, to avoid grazing and unsupervised eating. Avoid having bowls of common choking foods out in the open, such as grapes, popcorn, peanuts, hard candy.
3. Know the signs of choking. The choking victim cannot produce any sound. If the child has a loud cough you can hear, you should encourage the child to cough. Coughing is the body’s way of clearing the obstruction and it works better than any other technique. If the child’s cough becomes silent, if the child cannot answer, or becomes unresponsive,you need to take action immediately. If the choking victim is conscious, the American Heart Association recommends abdominal thrusts for victims over the age of 1. Back slaps and chest thrusts are recommended for infants.
4. Be prepared to respond by learning CPR. The choking victim may need CPR if choking relief methods are not started immediately, or are not effective. Chicago CPR covers choking relief, CPR, and AED use in all of our classes. Make learning how to save a life your holiday resolution.
Chicago CPR offers classes throughout Chicago and the suburbs and NPN members receive a special discount. There are several classes offered before the end of the year.