SAFE SURROUNDINGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
As the holiday season begins and our homes are filled with family and friends, it’s important to keep our surroundings risk-free – which includes a thoughtful safety check of both our own homes and the places we’ll be staying. Holiday celebrations often involve visits with loved ones you may only see at this time of year, so it’s the perfect time to make sure you feel secure in protective measures for your home and family before the full swing of festivities begins.
Storing Medicine and Substances
Medicines and vitamins help families feel well and stay well, but children are curious; to keep them safe, parents and caregivers must practice safe medicine storage (and ask about this practice in every home you visit). Always put every medicine, vitamin, and supplement—especially those in gummy form—up and away every time you use it, including those you use every day, even between doses.
Helpful tips and links:
- Free lockable storage bags for cannabis users in Vermont (check with your State Department of Health in other areas)
- Medication disposal: free and anonymous drug take-back locations (or you can request a free medication mail-back envelope from your State’s Dept of Health)
- Traveling with medication: safety tips
Fully secure storage of guns is a critical part of safety anywhere. It can also be an emotionally charged topic, so being prepared with conversation scripts and essential safety facts can help.
Informational links and tips:
- Gun Safety for Kids and sample questions to ask friends and family about their gun storage before visiting with your child (or sending them over to play)
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Guns (conversation starters based on age); for young kids, this short video with McGruff the Crime Dog teaches them what to do if a friend brings a gun to school
- Get a free gun safety kit (cable-style gun lock and safety instructions)
- A quick-look guide to gun storage options to fit your lifestyle (click to enlarge)
Personal Safety for Kids and Aging Parents
The holidays – it’s their time to shine! Kids, that is; any parent, grandparent, or adult in a child’s life has experienced the wonder of the season through a child’s eyes. However, it’s also a time when they may be particularly vulnerable.
- Physical boundaries and safety; they may be around new or unfamiliar people, and it’s important to lay the groundwork of open communication around their bodies
- Checklist for safe homes and holiday travel with kids
- Keeping kids safe in big crowds
Going home for the holidays often brings great joy and can also come with the dawning realization that our parents or other family members are aging and may need additional support. These visits are an important time to take stock of their general well-being – and pay attention to their physical and mental health.
Whether you’re preparing for the conversation for the first time or it’s been an ongoing discussion in your family, here are some tips for evaluating the safety and security of your older relatives:
- Safety checklist for an older relative, including their environment and mental health
- Conversation tips: how to talk to senior parents about their current and future needs
- Easy ways to create holiday memories with aging family members