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The Informed Parent

The Holidays And Active Infants

by Shanna R. Cox, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Dec. 14, 2009

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when all of us are involved in the hustle and bustle of seeing family and friends, shopping, decorating and generally mega multitasking. This month we need to be aware of special risks. Those cute cherubs in your family can get into much more trouble than simply crying for the family photo. Here’s a quick practical tip list when thinking of your infant and safety this holiday season!

Do you remember talking to your pediatrician about the quick, specific reach your six-month-old is developing?

  • Be careful with infants that can grasp and crush ornaments, or pull lights which may burn them and are a strangulation risk.
  • Anything interesting goes in the mouth. That means your sparkling Christmas earrings, bracelet or broach as well as the above mentioned decoration pitfalls. Keep them out of the reach of your curious and motivated infant.
  • Holiday foods and candy are another big attraction for little hands and mouths. Many of the nuts, cookies, popcorn and candies could cause a great deal of trouble for an infant. He may aspirate, choke or develop an allergic reaction to these festive foods. Infants cannot share in this holiday fun!

Your now smiling and social infant enchants everyone.

  • It’s the middle of the sick season. Wash baby and your hands frequently to attempt to halt the spread of germs.
  • Ask friends that are ill to stay away or, at a minimum, not to be up close in the face of your infant. Their small airways cannot handle many viruses as easily as our bigger adult airways.
  • It’s not worth being sick the first few weeks of the year to attend every party and to go to all events. Your infant needs some routine and plenty of rest to be his best. Be smart about how much you cram together with a little one in tow!

Sensitive skin and easily exposed mucous membranes

  • That special cranberry nutmeg lotion you love is not a good idea for baby. The fragrance and contents may easily irritate developing skin. Stick to the plain stuff--plain fragrance-free lotions and bathing products.
  • Infants may be especially sensitive to strong perfumes or lotions worn by others. If your baby starts coughing or developing an irritated runny nose or eyes, consider atypical exposures as a possible contributor.
  • Test out any finger food or puree you are considering giving your infant. Many holiday parties use warmers to keep the temperature up which might be more than your little one is used to tolerating

Savor the moments, not the stress. Actively take the time to enjoy the firsts you and your infant are enjoying together!

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