Festive feasts and holiday treats are a favorite part of the holiday and Hanukkah season. Children are especially eager to help prepare goodies and learn about cooking. Remember, having children around the kitchen requires a care and supervision. 

Kitchen Safety                                    
  • Never leave food that is cooking unattended
  • Turn all pot handles toward the back of the stove
  • Keep flammable items, such as towels & dishrags, away from the stove top
  • Never put water on a cooking fire…use baking soda or flour to help put it out
  • Turn off all appliances before leaving the kitchen

Cooking with Child Helpers       
  • Before introducing children to the kitchen, make sure you have taken essential safety steps such as having a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Wash your hands frequently as well as your children
  • Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen
  • Never carry a child while cooking
  • Make sure you & your child wear close-fitting clothing when cooking
  • Always supervise a child when using the microwave
  • Children under age 10 should not handle the stove, electrical appliances, sharp utensils or hot dishes
  • Be sure to keep hot liquids and foods away from counter or table edges where they can be easily knocked off by children
  • Unplug appliance cords when not in use and keep them out of children’s reach

U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hotline:
1-800-535-4555
1-800-256-7072 (TDD/TTY)
Food & Cooking Safety                   

Clean: 
Wash hands & food-contact surfaces often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen & get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, & counter tops.

Separate: 
Don't cross-contaminate--don't let bacteria spread from one food product to another-especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

Cook: 
Cook to proper temperatures. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.

Chill: 
Refrigerate promptly. Refrigerate foods quickly keeps most harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Keep refrigerator set at 40 F & freezer at "0" F, check settings occasionally with a thermometer.

Remember to follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Watch out for all of the eight part serious on holiday safety including Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, The Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping, Child Safe Gift Guide, Gift's and Child Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities and more.

You can also visit Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.

For questions, contact holidaysafety@proconsumersafety.com

 
 
The holidays are a great time to share special times with your children. Different activities can help stimulate their creativity and learning while making new traditions that will last them a lifetime. They will cherish and remember these experiences and activities more than any purchased gift.
Remember today is a gift. Live in the moment with your child today. This is why we call is the "present".

  • Bake & decorate cookies (from scratch of course-No cheating!). Have younger and older children take part in helping age-appropriate tasks
  • Go Christmas caroling with friends
  • Watch Christmas movies and have hot chocolate
  • Make decorations and ornaments. Have the children create their own for your own home or for gifts. Keeping in mind that small parts of 1 3/4 inch  is a hazard to infants and toddlers.
  • Have older children take part if planning holiday decorating and even holiday treat and recipe planning
  • Give a child one special ornament each year for the tree. That way when they will have a childhood collection of their own ornaments
  • Make your own Christmas gift "year"
  • Have older children create a holiday-related family game
  • When children create something special they made such as a Christmas cookie or ornament, preserve to use as ornaments for future years
  • Have the kids help create their own Christmas song
  • Have older children choose one day per week while out of school to go do something different, from a scavenger hunt, to looking at Christmas lights, making holiday crafts, etc.
  • Make a scavenger hunt with a holiday theme with your children and their friends. Write holiday facts on small papers with something small like a candy cane, then hide with a hint for another find.
  • Visit a holiday ice show or ballet
  • Take plenty of photos to use as a holiday scrap book for future years
  • Take a short trip. Either a day trip or weekend outing. Many cities and regions have their own special holiday features. Find out more by searching online for something special. Have older children help in the search and choices
  •  Plan a visit to one of the Polar Express train rides near you
  • Santa from around the world
  • Make your own Christmas cards
  • Take a drive or walk to look at Christmas lights and decorations
  • Attend a local Christmas parade
  • Have older children plan a few holiday season meals and cook before Christmas
  • Go to the snow, if possible, make a snowman, go sledding, play. Be a kid with your kids!
  • Go ice skating with your children
  • Go skiing or snowboarding, again if you are near snow or plan a trip (see Winter Sports). Taking time for Christmas activities and games as well
  • Between Thanksgiving and Christmas take time to have a several fun holiday theme meals or desert enjoying Christmas music and holiday activities
  • Make a gingerbread house or cookies for decorations. Play Christmas music have hot chocolate as you create
  • Get creative with the children. Look at the stars and create your own holiday related constellation as a gift 
  • Create holiday stories. Then make into small holiday books
  • Make an advent calendar and each day from December 1st to December 24th write a little note with a Christmas fact for your child to have each morning
  • Visit museums or community holiday events
  • Read or make up holiday stories for your children. These can be used throughout the holiday season. Small short stories before bedtime and later to be used as a small book for a gift when they are older
  • Save your mobile phone photos by year on your hard drive so later you can make an annual childhood scrapbook. A great gift when they come home from college
  • Create a new tradition of having the children, and adults, make one gift. Being creative it can be by hand, it can be a song, a play, a card, a poem, whatever they choose
  • Play a game with your children while listening to Christmas music and having a holiday desert
  • Attend a professional or local, school Christmas play
  • Contact Santa at the North Pole

Remember to follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Watch out for all of the eight part serious on holiday safety including Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, The Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping, Child Safe Gift Guide, Gift's and Child Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities and more.

You can also visit Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.

For questions, contact holidaysafety@proconsumersafety.com

 
 
If this is your first holiday after loosing a loved one, these steps offer an easier way to get through the holidays.

The holidays are time of joy and cheer, but after the loss of a loved one, especially the first holiday, can be the most difficult. The empty space in your heart and life can leave you anything but happy and cheerful. If you have lost a loved one recently, here are nine tips to help you get through the holidays, while honoring the memories of your loved one. After reading this section, find out about A Letter Release: To help get through the loss of a loved one.

  • Plan something different. Try not to recreate the past. Celebrate the holidays differently, however that may be. Go to a restaurant; visit old friends or relatives; go someplace you have never been before; if you choose to put up a Christmas tree, make new, or buy, decorations for it; have a special thought or some way of honoring and expressing your loved one together. 
  • Keep it simple. Do not stress about gifts. Buy less or maybe just for the children. Or make homemade gifts. Keep it simple and different. You can have a fun activity by making decorations with others. For meals keep them simple too. Go out to eat, make different foods, etc.
  • Take care of yourself. Find time to relax. Eat nourishing healthy meals. Avoid alcohol since it can intensify depression and keep you from sleeping well.
  • Plan to keep busy. Grief can take all your energy away and even though we know we need to get up and do something, we do not have the energy. Have friends help you plan things to keep you busy. If you need to rest is fine but keep busy so you do not start feeling down or depressed.
  • Pay attention to how you feel. It is OK to let others know how you feel. If you begin to feel down and depressed talk with anyone. Let them know you need to talk and express how you feel to them. When you let people know you have experienced a loss of a loved one and need to talk, you will be surprised how people will offer to listen and help. So let others know how you feel. Be gentle to yourself and to others as well.
  • Express your feelings. Expect to feel some pain from your loss. This is normal. When you feel sad during the holidays, this is normal. Experience tears and express how you feel. Talk with others. Have faith in yourself and know you will get through this and will be fine.
  • If you need help get help from others. Grieving is difficult and should not be done alone. Share your feelings with others. If a friend or family member is not able to give you the support you need, call and talk with a lifeline counselor 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255 (FOR VETERANS PRESS “1”, EN ESPAÑOL OPRIMA EL 2)
  • Give something of yourself to others. One of the most helpful things you can do to help you feel better is to help others, especially during the holidays.  And do this in honor of the loved one you lost.
  • Remember to express your feelings, make plans to keep busy, do something different with others to honor your loved one, and if you need help call the lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Doing something different with others this holiday season can help you create new traditions to honor your loved one and get through the holidays in a different but special way.

Remember to follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Watch out for all of the eight part serious on holiday safety including Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, The Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping, Child Safe Gift Guide, Gift's and Child Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities and more.

You can also visit Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.

For questions, contact holidaysafety@proconsumersafety.com

 
 
The holidays are a wonderful time of year for both adults and children. However relationships, finances and physical and emotional demands can result in holiday stress. The following are some causes, which you might relate. The good news is, with some helpful tips you too can have a stress-free holiday.

Relationships: Relationship tension among family, friends, and intimate partners, can become worse during the holidays. And if you're facing the holidays without a loved one, you may find yourself lonely or sad. Family relationships: Especially if you are together for several days, conflicts among family members are bound to arise with so many needs and interests to accommodate. Intimate partners: Whether you are dating or recently married or living together, tension often arises when deciding when both want to follow their own traditions, but yet want to be together.

Finances: Like your relationships, finances can also cause stress at any time of the year. But overspending during the holidays on gifts, travel, food and entertainment can increase stress if you spend beyond your means.

Physical demands: Activities such as shopping, attending social gatherings, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, and preparing holiday meals can wear you down. Feeling tired can also increase your stress, creating a vicious cycle. Then in addition to stress, add lack of exercise, and overindulgence in food and drink can result in holiday illness. Getting plenty of exercise and sleep are good ways to help manage stress and fatigue.

Stress-Free
Holidays!

  • Expect less! Don’t compete with past holidays or try to make this one “the best ever”.  Set realistic goals, pace yourself, and organize time.  Write a list of the most important activities and things to do. Don’t plan too much. Be realistic about what you can do. Don’t spend too much time preparing for one day (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.).
  • Allow yourself to feel: The holiday season does not automatically make feelings of sadness or loneliness go away. Allow yourself to feel however you feel but talk with others about how you feel when you begin to feel down.
  • Let go of the past!  Don’t be disappointed if your holidays are not like they used to be.  Life brings changes.  Each holiday season is different and can be enjoyed in its’ own way.  You set yourself up for sadness if everything has to be just like the “good old days”.  Especially with the loss of a loved one, keep memories in your heart and dedicate new traditions to them and look toward the future.
  • Do something for someone else.  Try volunteering to help others.
  • Enjoy “free” holiday activities: Drive and look at Holiday decorations, go window shopping.
  • Do not drink too much.  Alcohol is a depressant. Drinking can make you feel more depressed.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new.  Celebrate the holidays in a way you have not done before.
  • Spend time with “supportive” people who care about you.  Even those who care about you might not always be supportive (both family and friends). Make new friends if you are alone during special times.  Contact someone you have lost touch with.
  • Spend less and not over what you can afford. Make gifts & be creative. Don’t get caught up in the “buying trend”.
  • Take care of yourself! Get plenty of exercise, sleep, and time to relax by living in the moment.
  • Find time for yourself!  Don’t spend all your time providing activities for your family and friends. 
  • If you are depressed or need someone to talk to, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

 Source: National Mental Health Association

Remember to follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Watch out for all of the eight part serious on holiday safety including Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, The Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping, Child Safe Gift Guide, Gift's and Child Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities and more.

You can also visit Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.

For questions, contact holidaysafety@proconsumersafety.com

 
 
Be a positive role model by teaching your children that the holiday season is a time for giving and how to be realistic. Remember trying to meet all of your child’s wishes can cause stress to you and your bank account.
  • Let them know if a toy is unsafe or too expensive
  • Let them know that you and Santa will do their best to get them a special gift
  • Enjoy time with your children. Have them choose a craft or activity at least once a week. Bake cookies, write a story, or make up a game, even as a gift. Your children will remember these moments much more than anything you will ever buy!

By simply setting boundaries and validating your child will help give you and your child a much happier holiday.
Picture
Get this!
Picture
Not This!

Validate your child’s feelings

So plan ahead, be aware and ready to respond, because you know you will hear “I want…”. So as you shop, when you hear “I want”, remember to first validate their feelings. Even if you are shopping for others, still validate them by letting them know you are happy they showed you what they would like. Acknowledge them by asking them to remember that item and write it on a list when they get home. Then, if they keep asking then simply remind them again that you are shopping for others and let them help you.
Set boundaries with your child

Plan ahead, when you take your child to any store during the holidays, let them know what your intent is. Let them know what you are shopping for. If gifts for others, try to have them help by asking for their ideas. Let them know that it is okay if they see something they like, but this is not the time for us to buy it.

Remember to follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Watch out for all of the eight part serious on holiday safety including Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, The Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping, Child Safe Gift Guide, Gift's and Child Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities and more.

You can also visit Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.

For questions, contact holidaysafety@proconsumersafety.com

 
 

Shopping Guide: Infants & Toddlers
(Ages 0-3)
Warnings:
  • Children can choke on anything that is 1 ¾ inch (4.45cm) or less 
  • Toys that have strings, straps or cords more than 7 inches (17.7cm) are a strangulation hazard
  • Avoid toys with small removable parts due to being a choking hazard
  • Check small parts, such as making sure a teddy bear’s eyes and nose are securely attached
  • Balloons are not recommended due to being a choking hazard  
  • Toys with lithium batteries are a burn risk
Gift Ideas:
Remember to read warnings and tags to make sure gifts are age-appropriate
Infants: 
  • Soft dolls
  • Stuffed animals (with no buttons or small parts)
  • Cloth covered books
Ages 1-3 years: 
  • Books
  • Blocks
  • Shape toys
  • Balls (no smaller than 1 ¾ inches)

Shopping Guide:  Ages 4-8
Warnings & Information:
  • Electric toys can be a burn hazard for this age
  • Electronic devices are distractions and do not stimulate creative learning that helps brain development
Gift Ideas!
  • Non-toxic arts and crafts
  • Books
  • Musical Instruments
  • Outdoor toys

Shopping Guide:  Ages 9+
Warnings & Information:
Electric trains and battery operated toys are safe for this age, but:
  1. Children should not      change batteries
  2. Adults check for loose wires
Electronic devices do not promote physical activity or brain development
Gift Ideas!
  • Sports equipment
  • Bicycle, scooter, skateboard, roller blades or skates
  • Helmet & protective gear
Remember when purchasing a wheeled item such as a bicycle, skateboard, roller blades or roller skates, also purchase a helmet

Shopping Guide:  All Ages
Be Aware & Never Buy:
  • Propelled toys such as darts
  • Toys with lead-based paint
  • Toy guns, or pellet or BB guns  
  • Toys with sharp point or edges
  • Toys that make loud noises-can injury hearing
  • Always consider:
    • Follow age recommendations
    • Read instructions and teach your child how to properly use any new toy
    • Immediately discard plastic wrappings, which can lead to suffocation to small children 

    Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Safety Council and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Remember to follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Watch out for all of the eight part serious on holiday safety including Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, The Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping, Child Safe Gift Guide, Gift's and Child Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities and more.

    You can also visit Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.

    For questions, contact holidaysafety@proconsumersafety.com

     
     
    This holiday season, while shopping don't put yourself in the hands of a thief. Be alert during the holiday shopping season and remember these tips before, during and after shopping to make your season safe and enjoyable.

    BEFORE SHOPPING
    • Turn off all lights & blow-out all open flame candles before leaving home
    • Never leave children home alone without an adult or child 13 years of age or older
    • Avoid shopping alone
    • Shop during daylight hours, if dark, 1) Shop with a friend, 2) Park in well-lighted space
    • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
    • Keep your purse or wallet with you
    • Keep valuables out of plain view in your car
    • While shopping never leave children alone:
    1. In a car, or
    2. In public facilities (arcade or playground) 
    DURING SHOPPING
    • Do not carry too many packages-lock them in your car trunk or not in plain view  
    • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
    • Keep credit slips-tear & discard later
    • Wear your purse strapped across your body and wallets in front pocket
    • Use credit or bank ATM card or checks rather than carrying cash.
    • If ATM is used, use as “credit” so you do not have to use your PIN number
    • If you need an ATM, use one located in a mall, store, or well-lighted location
    • In public restrooms-do not hang a purse on handles/hooks and never on the floor
    • Always go with your child when taking them to the restroom
    • Teach your child never to talk to or go anywhere with strangers
    • Use the shopping cart safety belt for a child
    • On escalators-hold a child’s hand facing them forward and make sure shoes are tied
    AFTER  SHOPPING
    • When leaving the stores, if dark or late at night ask security to escort you to your car
    When walking to your car:
    • Walk confidently with your head up and noticing surroundings
    • Walk in well-lighted and well traveled area where there are lots of people
    • Be aware of people around you. Scan the area around your car. Make sure nobody is hiding nearby-If someone looks suspicious report them and request for an escort
    • Have your car key or remote in your hand and ready to unlock your car
    Once at your car:
    • Look inside to make sure nobody is hiding
    • When loading purchases put your purse in first, then children, packages, etc.
    • Once in vehicle, lock doors immediately
    Once at Home
    • Take infants & toddlers from car and into to home first, then remove gifts
    • Keep all wrapped gifts hidden in closets, not under your tree, so they are out of sight to prevent a burglary
    • Put gifts under you tree on December 24th

    Remember to follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Watch out for all of the eight part serious on holiday safety including Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, The Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping, Child Safe Gift Guide, Gift's and Child Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities and more.

    You can also visit
    Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.

    For questions, contact holidaysafety@proconsumersafety.com