Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety & Prevention

4 Ways to Keep Kids Safe & Healthy During the Winter Holidays


  1. Host friends & loved ones, not viruses


    Don't let respiratory viral illnesses like the flu, RSV and COVID-19 spoil your family's holiday fun. The best way to make sure your child's immune system can resist viral illness is to get the recommended vaccines and booster doses. And remember simple-but-effective ways to reduce the spread of germs, like frequent hand washing

  2. Decorate with an eye toward safety


    Holiday decorations can be festive and fun. Just take steps to avoid common safety hazards. If you have a fresh-cut tree, for example, place it away from fireplaces and radiators and keep the stand filled with water. Secure the battery compartment on items that contain button batteries and lithium coin batteries, which can cause life-threatening injuries if swallowed. These small batteries are found in holiday items such as string lights, flameless candles and musical ornaments, for example. For more information, see "12 Holiday Decorating Safety Tips​."​​

  3. Select safe gifts


    When gift shopping, check toy and game labels for recommended ages. This helps you know your child will be able to use and enjoy them. Even more important, the label can warn you about choking hazards or other dangers to young children. Electric toys should be labeled "UL Approved," and anything that could end up in your child's mouth should be labeled “nontoxic." Also remember to get rid of wrapping paper and ribbons to avoid choking hazards. See "How to Buy Safe Toys" for more information.​​

  4. Food & drink preparation & cleanup


    When preparing holiday treats and meals, keep hot food and liquids away from the edges of counters and tables. They can be easily knocked over by a young child's exploring hands. While you're teaching your children family recipes, also teach them good hand hygeine. ​Wash your hands frequently, and make sure children do the same. After a holiday party, clean up right away. Your little one could wake up early the next morning and choke on leftover food or get sick from spoiled food. They could also get ahold of alcohol in unemptied glasses. See more tips in "Food Safety Tips for Families."​​

Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2022)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Follow Us