If you’re busily preparing for your little one’s next birthday party or playdate, you may be overwhelmed with the number of tasks to complete. From sending invitations and preparing food to organizing activities, it’s easy to overlook one of the most important responsibilities: ensuring the safety of your guests under the age of five. Here are some tips for a safe celebration:
Select Safe Foods for Your Pint-Sized Partygoers
It can be fun to brainstorm new ways to serve tasty treats, but you should keep safety in mind when selecting snacks for your child’s get-together. Food is the most common cause of nonfatal choking in children under 4, and more than 10,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year for food-related choking accidents. To prevent your child and other attendees from choking, certain foods should be avoided, including:
- Hot dogs
- Marshmallows and other sticky candy
- Popcorn, chips, and pretzels
- Whole grapes, cherries, baby carrots, and other potentially harmful fruits and veggies if not cut into small enough pieces
In addition to choking hazards, you should keep in mind that some children attending the party may have allergies to common food items, such as peanut butter, soy, and fish. It’s best to avoid foods that contain these ingredients unless you’re familiar with each child’s dietary restrictions. When in doubt, always ask each child’s parent or guardian.
Carefully Consider Decorations
Birthday parties are all about balloons and party favors, however, when it comes to celebrations for youngsters, you may want to forego traditional decorations. Latex balloons are a common choking hazard for young children and are actually a leading cause of choking deaths in children under 6. A deflated balloon can easily get lodged in the back of a child’s throat if swallowed, closing off the windpipe. Instead, opt for foil balloons, as the material is less likely to cause choking if ingested.
Small party favors can also pose a similar threat. Toys with small parts, such as wheels or marbles, can lead to an emergency if swallowed. To prevent this from happening, be sure to select age-appropriate party favors. This means selecting balls and other toys that are at least one and three-quarter inches wide in diameter for children under 6.
The same goes for candy and other treats. Skip the caramels, taffy, and hard candies, as they are difficult for small kids to chew and can send a child to the emergency room if swallowed whole.
Child-Proof Play Areas and Other Accessible Rooms
While your home may be child-proofed based on your toddler’s particular level of curiosity, it’s hard to say what others will find enticing, especially in a new, unfamiliar environment. This is why it’s important to child-proof commonly trafficked areas in your home, including the kitchen, living room, and bathrooms.
Below is a to-do list for parents to follow to keep children in your home away from potentially dangerous situations:
- Before guests arrive, put away all breakable items, small appliances, and any sharp objects
- Install latches on cupboards, drawers, and toilets
- Make sure all doors are closed to rooms that are not carefully supervised when visitors arrive
- For outdoor parties, carefully store all yard tools, lawn and garden chemicals, and other potentially harmful items high off the ground and out of reach
- If your backyard has a kiddie pool or any area of standing water, make sure the area is gated or closely supervised at all times to avoid injury or potential drowning
Pay Close Attention
With an abundance of tasks to complete throughout the course of a party, it can be hard to keep an eye on all of your guests at every moment. You may be so caught up in cutting slices of cake, washing off sticky hands, and cleaning up garbage that you miss an adventurous toddler running for a houseplant or a preschooler who found a nail on the deck. In mere seconds, a fun time can turn scary. By being aware of every situation, you can help stop dangerous situations before they start.
Depending on the age and number of children attending, parents of guests may also be in attendance. If not, it may be helpful to invite additional adults to help supervise various play zones throughout your home.
Child-Guard® Helps You Celebrate Worry-Free
Whether you’re hosting a birthday party, or your child is a guest, household safety is everyone’s responsibility. When placed in the wrong hands, even the safest of household items can pose a serious threat to children.
We help keep parents at ease with our innovative child-resistant closure, Child-Guard®. When used with resealable flexible packaging, Child-Guard® offers parents additional peace of mind as it stores potentially hazardous items behind an intricate 3-point opening system. Although potentially hazardous items should always be kept out of reach of young children, Child-Guard® gives parents additional reaction time if the packaging ends up the hands of a little one.
Already featured in your laundry aisle, Child-Guard® is making big strides in other markets using flexible packaging.
What products would you like to see guarded in the future? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #guardit. Be sure to like Child-Guard® on Facebook for more household safety tips!