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Keep tiny tots safe during the holidays.

No other time of the year is quite as exciting and magical for children as the holidays. However, many popular festivities can put them at risk of injuries and illnesses that put a damper on the holiday cheer.

With some precautionary measures in place, children can stay safe and healthy throughout the entire season. Here are our tips for keeping the season merry and bright for your family.

Deck the halls with unbreakable ornaments.

Nothing says holiday cheer like a decorated home. Unfortunately, many ornaments are fragile. If a child breaks an ornament and it shatters, they could cut their fingers or step on the shards. That’s why it’s best to have your little elves hang ornaments made of paper, plastic, felt or other soft materials. In addition, keep breakable ornaments toward the top of the tree — out of reach of curious children.

Take caution with candles.

While candles cast a festive holiday glow (and come in various holiday scents), they pose a hazard for children. Be sure to keep lit candles out of the reach of children and hide matches and lighters where the kids won’t find them. Blow out candles before you leave the room to ensure children don’t try to reach for them while you aren’t there. Or, opt for battery-powered or electric candles instead.

Wrap up gifts safely.

Gift wrapping means ribbons, bows…and potentially, cuts. To keep young children safe while they wrap presents, let them handle the folding, taping and ribbon-tying (with supervision) while you cut the paper. The kids will love seeing the presents they helped wrap for their loved ones sitting prettily under the tree — no mishaps necessary.

Bundle up — and down.

Looking to take advantage of a winter wonderland and embark on a family outing? Make sure your child is properly covered from head to toe to help prevent frostbite, colds and flu. A waterproof jacket and boots, wool socks, cozy hat, thick scarf and mittens can help keep kids nice and toasty while they sled, carol or ice skate. If your child complains of numbness or pain, bring them inside immediately, run the frostbitten area under warm—not hot!—water and apply dry, sterile bandages. Seek immediate medical care for suspected severe frostbite cases if you observe any change in normal skin color.

Stay away from poisonous plants.

If you have children (or pets) in your household, it is best to avoid purchasing popular, yet poisonous, holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettias. If you still want the look of these plants in your home, head to your local craft store to pick out some fake versions — just make sure they don’t contain any choking hazards such as fake berries that children can remove and ingest.

Avoid a cookie catastrophe.

Enlisting your little bakers to help with baking the holiday cookies? Kids can easily be tempted by the delicious scent of cookie dough — but don’t let them eat any if it includes raw eggs, which may contain Salmonella. Also keep in mind that candy beads, Red Hots and other decorative candies can pose choking hazards. If the children want to try their artistic hands at decorating the cookies, it’s best to let them work with sprinkles and colored sugars.

If you or your child is experiencing a non-life-threatening injury or illness, check in online or walk in to a WellNow location nearest you for quick, convenient care. We are open seven days a week, including Christmas Eve from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Christmas Day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and we’re open our regular hours on New Year’s Eve and Day. We look forward to helping your family have a safe and healthy holiday season.

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