TODDLER HOLIDAY HAZARD: Houseguests
Infectious illness can be introduced into your home. “New people bring new viruses into your environment,” explains Shubin, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. During wintertime, everyone is inside, touching the same toys, plates and doorknobs, making it easy for disease to spread. Plus, older family members—who are generally not accustomed to childproofing—bring their medications with them. “Little pills look like candy to young children,” warns Shubin.
PREVENT AN ACCIDENT:
Wash your child’s hands—and yours—every hour. Keep a few bottles of alcohol-based hand cleaner (like Purel) in your home’s common areas (den, dining room, kitchen) so everyone can clean their fingers as often as possible. “There’s not a lot we can do to prevent disease,” says Shubin. “But frequently washing your hands is the one thing that will make a big difference.”
As to Grandma’s meds, experts suggest that guests be asked to take pills, lipsticks, powders—anything a toddler will want to bite—out of their purse or suitcase when they arrive. Place these items in a lockbox stored on a shelf out of a child’s reach and sightline, and give your guest the key.
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