Creative Child

Safety: Avoiding Hidden Holiday Hazards

by Erin J. Bernard


3. Keep those chestnuts roasting on a closely monitored fire.

The holidays are a great time for getting kids into the kitchen to help out with meal prep and baking, but close cooking supervision is a seasonal must. Start with simple recipes, delegating prep activities to younger kids and oven/stove duty to older kids. Never remove hot food from the oven or stove when holding a child.

Instead, clear the kitchen of little helpers when things get hectic and impart a lesson in year-round cooking safety by teaching children to double-check that all burners and ovens are off when the cooking’s through.

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4. Dash safely through the snow.

Long car rides in cold, icy conditions can be taxing for kids and parents alike and the risk of accidents is elevated in wintry weather. Smooth the path by thinking ahead. Check that your child’s car or booster seat is still the proper size, and still properly installed. A “Safe Kids” car seat checkup is always a good idea.

Find locations here:

Remember, the back seat of a moving car is no place to change diapers, serve meals, or stretch out cramped-up muscles. Anticipate restlessness during long trips and schedule in regular stretching and snack breaks.

For help with pit stop planning, download the “USA Rest Stops” app for your smartphone. It will point you to a nearby rest stop or service plaza from anywhere in the US.

Sources: -

Centers for Disease Control -

Electrical Safety Foundation International -

USA Rest Stops App -

Erin J. Bernard is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer from Portland, Oregon. Before becoming a writer, Erin worked as a nanny and an ESL classroom teacher. She taught English at a Montessori school in Mexico and then ran an after-school language program in South Korea. Erin is the editor of the parenting guide, “Instructions Not Included: A Pediatrician’s Prescription for Raising the Best Kids on the Block,” written by Irwin H. Berkowitz, MD.

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