previously published in KC Parent magazine December 2011 issue
From fireplace wood to doors and splinters, read here for tips on keeping your kids safe and healthy this month.
When temperatures dip into the freezing range, cuddling with your family in front of the fire hits the spot. However, the beautiful flames can be like a magnet, drawing your tike to those glass doors which can burn your child’s hands in seconds. Jonathan Kelly, manager at Fireplace & Bar-B-Q Center in Overland Park, says, “We carry Spark Guards that come in a wide range of sizes and prices. These will keep kids 8 inches away from the hot glass.”
Kelly states manufacturers are trying to make the glass itself safer, but until a product like that is on the market, these guards are instrumental in preventing serious burns.
Q: How do I safely remove a splinter from my child?
A: Depending on how deep the splinter is in the skin, you might have to wash it with soap and water and let the body get rid of it on its own. If you think you can remove it with tweezers, first ice the area to numb it. Then take a pair of tweezers, which have been cleaned with rubbing alcohol, and, holding the afflicted area, firmly grab the splinter’s end and gently remove. If the splinter breaks in half, you are out of luck. Don’t go digging for it. You will only make the area irritated. Wash with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment and bandage. Keep an eye for signs of infection, like redness at site, red streaking from the area, pus or continual pain. Report these findings to the child’s medical provider.
Stranger Danger Knocking on the Door
Quick quiz: Answer each of the below with yes or no.
- If your children are left with a babysitter and someone comes to the door, should the babysitter answer the door?
- If your mother-in-law is watching the kids and someone rings the bell, should she open the door to a stranger?
- Your 13-year-old is watching her siblings while you run back to the store. Should she open the door to an unknown salesperson?
(ANSWERS: 1: N 2: N 3: N)
The caretaker should flash lights or elevate the TV or music so the person at the door knows someone is in the house, but unlocking the door is inviting trouble. No one needs to know your children are home with a babysitter or alone. Make sure this is clear to your children and every babysitter.
Stacey Hatton is a pediatric registered nurse and freelance writer.