Posts for: December, 2018
Nothing creates a winter ambiance like a wood burning fireplace however, it is important to remember these fireplace safety tips from the AAP.
- If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning
- Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire and keeping it open until the fire is out, will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Be certain not to close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.
- Use dry and well-aged wood as wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly.
- Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less as a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.
- Have your chimney checked annually by a professional — even if your chimney is not due for cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.
- Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc).
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you.
- Minimize your child’s chance of burns form the hot glass front of some fireplaces. Safety scenes can be installed to reduce the risk of burns.
- Put the fireplace tools and accessories out of a young child’s reach. Also, remove any lighters and matches.
- Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Communicate to children as early as possible the danger of fires and the heat generated from them.
We understand that children of all ages are filling their holiday wish list with technology such as: tablets, cell phones, headphones and other tech-related gifts however, it’s important as a parent, to set limits, and make sure your child has technology free time. The holidays are a great time to help children “disconnect” and get back to the basics in childhood play by providing your child with gifts that foster communication and social interaction.
Ideas for a Low-Tech Holiday Gift List:
- Traditional toys - Did you know traditional toys still remain superior to electronic toys for children’s language development? Blocks, dolls, musical instruments, cars, trains, shape-sorters, and other low-tech toys get kids and parents talking, singing, playing and interacting. When toys talk, parents talk less which subsequently means that kids vocalize less. Make sure to put some traditional toys under your tree this year to help your child build fundamental communication skills.
- Books - Helping to spread the joy of reading is a lifelong gift
- For infants and toddlers look for books with textures inviting touch or colorful board and picture books
- Give books appropriate to your child’s skill level to facilitate emerging literacy for children learning how to read
- For older children, look for engaging chapter books and book series
- Board, card and conversation-based question games - These are great to enjoy and play as a family as they get everyone talking and laughing and help to build some great memories.
- Costumes and other dress up accessories - These gifts allow children to use their imaginations and foster creativity. They also promote language development as kids will make up dialogues, tell stories, sing and take turns.
- Outdoor toys - Get your child outside with such toys as: balls, sleds, jump ropes, and yard games. These toys encourage running, jumping, sports and other active play which help promote physical activity and prime children for learning.
- Puzzles - Puzzles help to promote teamwork as the whole family can participate as well as spur conversation while building analytical, problem-solving and other skills.
- Cooking supplies - Involving young kids in making and trying new foods offers a wealth of opportunity for conversation and language building as well as helping to exposure your child to new tastes, textures and more. Cooking together also sets the scene for family bonding while following recipes helps to improve reading and comprehension skills, planning, organization, sequencing and following directions. Try doubling or dividing a recipe to also introduce some math into cooking!
- Crayons, colored pencils, coloring books and other writing supplies - These help children to build fine-motor skills, build their vocabulary and learn the names of colors.
- Tickets to child-friendly shows, sporting events, or other performances - These are great gifts as they allow parents and children to enjoy special activities together! These outings help to promote family interaction, conversation and bonding. Memberships to local zoos, museums or aquariums make great gifts for the whole family to enjoy!
Of course we understand that technology gifts will likely remain on your child’s shopping list. If you do give your child a technology-related present, use it as an opportunity to lay out some ground rules and make a family media plan
Cherry Creek Pediatrics wants to make sure your holiday season is one of joy. While holiday lights can bring beauty and happiness to your house, they can also cause overloaded circuits which can cause cords to overheat resulting in fires. Listen to this great holiday safety tip from the AAP to help prevent your risk of a fire this holiday season.