Holidays the Safe Way

Yvonne McQuaid (photo courtesy of North State Parent Magazine)

Yvonne McQuaid is passionate about the health, education, well-being, and joy of young children, including her newly adopted grandson, Chance. As the executive director at First 5 Butte County, she helps lead the First 5 investment in young children, advocating for a great start and an even better future for a new generation of youngsters. At home she does pretty much the same. This holiday season, she has an especially joyful heart as she and Chance prepare for fun and safe visits with family and friends and some coveted down time at home.

Moving into a new home with an active, mobile 2-year-old, Yvonne recently experienced a bit of a childproofing refresher course. She says, “I knew it was critical to set my home up with my little guy’s safety in mind. I even had my new place inspected for safety. Young children are so curious and a small investment in childproofing helps avoid serious injuries like choking, falls, poisoning, burns, and suffocation.”

Yvonne is using a combination of new hacks and time-proven ideas to make sure home is a safe place. Rolling into the holidays, Chance’s safety in the homes of others is also on her mind. Knowing how easy it is to get distracted when you’re visiting, parents are encouraged to take a quick look around and offer to remedy child safety hazards.

Curious baby reaches for safety cover on electricalYOUR HOME

  • Put plastic plug protectors in electrical outlets so toddlers can’t poke a finger or other object into them.
  • Lock up medicines (including over the counter) and guns and keep sharp objects up high out of reach.
  • Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
  • When cooking, point pan handles to the back of the stove to keep little ones from reaching up to grab them.
  • Protect wobbly toddlers from falling on a coffee table or walking into pointy counter edges by storing the table and putting bumper pads on the counter.
  • Block stairs with a safety gate.
  • Move cleaning supplies from below sinks and store on top shelves.

Blond toddler standing holding onto baby safety gateHOMES YOU VISIT

  • Loop curtain or blind cords up high out of the reach of children.
  • Make sure toilet seat lids are down.
  • Gift your host with plastic plug protectors.
  • Supervise your child at all times.

“Remember how fast little ones can move, climb, and stick things in their mouths,” says Yvonne. “Accidents can happen in a heartbeat! You’ll be glad you took a little extra time to childproof your home, creating a safe environment for discovery and fun.”

Whether at home or in the homes of people you cherish, focus on the joy by keeping kids safe for the holidays and for always.


About Deborah Peel

Writer, blogger, marketer, mother, lover of big trees and isolated mountain tops. I’m passionate about the pathway to success that First 5 Shasta is building for young children. Our grantees, partners, and caring community members all contribute to this critical early childhood investment. Together, we make the pathway strong!

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