Thanksgiving Safety Tips

November 20, 2012
By: Tammy McKillip
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Thanksgiving is a time for family get-togethers, good food and gratitude, but with all the cooking, traveling and visiting this time of the year, it's easy to lose track of what the little ones are up to. Keep your children safe during the holidays by keeping a few tips in mind:

  • Keep kids out of the kitchen as much as possible when you are preparing your Thanksgiving meal to prevent accidental burns and slippery falls. 
  • Designate an older child or adult to keep tabs on where small children are playing, and get regular updated reports to make sure they are near-by and safe.
  • Make your host aware of any food allergies your children have in advance of holiday meal preparation. 
  • Pay close attention to turkey-cooking instructions to ensure that your meat is thoroughly cooked with a minimal internal temperature of 165 degrees before eating.
  • Instruct your children to wash their hands after handling raw foods and before eating. 
  • Wash your counter-tops, kitchen sink, utensils, hands and anything that comes into contact with raw turkey or meat to kill harmful bacteria. 
  • Place hot bowls, platters and plates in the center of your Thanksgiving table and far away from small children. 
  • Use outlet safety covers to keep small children from sticking their fingers into the outlets. Do this if you will have small children visiting your home, and remember to bring the covers with you if you will be visiting a relative or friend's home. 
  • Instruct your child never to touch a pet that does not belong to them until they have first asked permission of the pet's owner. Consider bringing along safety gates if you are visiting a home with pets, and ask you host to confine the pets when you are not able to keep a close eye on your child.
  • Remove any bones from your small child's turkey or chicken before serving to prevent a choking hazard. If your host is serving, double check your child's plate to be sure small bones have been removed. 
  • Keep track of glasses that contain alcoholic beverages so that young children do not inadvertently pick up and drink out of the wrong glass. 
  • Keep candles away from young children, and ask your host to move them if you feel their placement is accessible to your child. 
  • Watch small children carefully near fireplaces, gas or electric heaters and woodstoves. 
  • Monitor your younger child around older cousins and friends, who may have more leniency in playing video games, television viewing and language. If older children are behaving in a way that you feel is not age-appropriate for your younger child, speak to your host about intervening on her behalf. 

Have a happy Thanksgiving, Macaroni Kid families!

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