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Santa is Checking His List, Parents Are You Checking Yours Twice?

Christmas safety

Holiday Safety: Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Expert Gives Parents a Checklist on how to avoid preventable injuries

Christmas Safety

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Expert Gives Parents a Checklist on How Avoid Preventable Injuries this Holiday Season

STONY BROOK, NY, DECEMBER 15, 2015 – It’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ – and the most exciting time for little ones, but it’s also a time when kids can be at risk for injuries. Dr. Susan Katz, Pediatric Injury Prevention Coordinator, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, is encouraging all parents and caregivers to be prepared with simple safety tips this holiday season.

In 2012, more than 3,200 children were seen in emergency rooms for injuries caused by non-electric Christmas decorations and another 500 kids a day are treated for toy-related injuries. The danger of carbon monoxide is also increased in the winter months because fuel-powered devices are used more frequently.

“The holidays are a time when many families decorate their homes, travel to see family and friends, and eat lots of great food.” said Dr. Katz. “But with all these activities come some safety risks that we may not always think about. By reminding ourselves of a few small safety tips, the holidays can be safer and more fun for everyone.”

Dr. Katz and other experts from Stony Brook Children’s recommend the following the following tips to stay safe during the holidays:

1. Headed to Grandma’s House? Check car seats before holiday travel: Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, give it a second check. Dr. Katz suggest using the Safe Kids’ car seat checklist .

2. Baby its Cold Outside! But bulky coats and car seats don’t mix: If it’s cold outside, cover babies and young children with a thick blanket to keep them warm after they’re strapped securely into their car seat. Bulky winter clothes and coats can keep a car seat from doing its job and keeping your child safe.

3. Toys for Every Girl & Boy… But making sure it’s age appropriate: Consider the child’s age when purchasing a toy or game this holiday season. Before you’ve settled on the perfect toy, check to make sure there aren’t any small parts or other potential choking hazards.

4. Batteries Not Included – Button batteries are dangerous for young kids: Electronic devices and toys are getting smaller and sleeker and include small pieces, including button batteries . Little kids love to explore, and when they find something new, what’s the first thing they do? Put it in their mouths. Each year in the United States, more than 2,800 kids are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries. That’s one child every three hours. The number of serious injuries or deaths as a result of button batteries has increased nine-fold in the last decade.

5. Oh Christmas Tree— Decorate the tree with kids in mind. Kids are curious and will want to play with the ornaments on the tree. Move the ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top of the tree. That makes room at the bottom for the ones that are safer for young kids.

6. The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful… Remember to keep children away from fireplaces. Many families will place enclosures to keep children away, but those can heat up quickly and little hands can get burned if touched. Make a habit of placing matches and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Never leave candles unattended; place them away from trees and other decorations where they cannot be knocked over and are out of reach from little hands. Don’t forget to blow candles out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep. Other things to watch out for, keeping your kids burn free — hot chocolate and soups! They can warm us up, but can burn a young child’s skin very quickly. Remember to keep hot beverages and soups out of reach of children and do not hold a child while drinking or eating something hot. Children should not use a microwave by themselves unless they tall enough to safely remove the item and also understand that hot liquids and steam can burn like fire.

To learn more safety tips, visit:


About Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

With 106 beds, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 8,000 children and young adults are discharged each year. Stony Brook Children’s has more than 160 pediatric specialists in over 30 specialties. The hospital is Suffolk County’s only Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is home to the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center and also offers a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, and Cystic Fibrosis Center. To learn more, visit


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