Holiday Visit Safety Tips

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 02:47 pm

The holiday season is in full swing and many families will be traveling to visit relatives. If your relatives do not have young children, their homes may not be child-proofed. In all the hustle and bustle of this busy time of year, distractions can easily take a parent’s attention off of young children and could place your child in danger, if safety precautions are not already in place.

Here are some tips for making your holiday visits safer for your child:

Prepare in advance

When planning your visit, ask your relatives to take some child-proofing measures to prepare for your child’s visit. Provide them with Visiting for the Holidays2some easy ways they can child-proof, but don’t expect them to do a full, thorough childproofing job or spend money on childproofing gadgets. Easy ways to childproof include putting fragile or breakable items high out of reach, and locking away dangerous items, such as guns, lighters, and cigarettes. Cabinets with knobs can be temporarily “locked” with rubber bands wrapped around the knobs to hold them closed. Uncovered wastebaskets can be covered or put in an area inaccessible to your child. Ask your relatives what they are willing and able to do and offer to bring portable childproofing items with you, if necessary.

Pools and hot tubs

Whether a pool or hot tub is full of water or covered for winter, it is a potential danger. If your relative has either, you need to make sure your child cannot access the pool area or hot tub. Check to see what safety measures are already in place (fence, locked gate, alarm, etc) and always keep an eye on your child while outside.


If your relative has pets, it is important to never allow your child to be alone with them. Young children should never be left alone with any animal, whether the animal is familiar with the child or not. Even the most docile, sweet-natured pet can cause serious injury if it feels threatened or protective of its territory. A young child may innocently pull on fur or a tail, or try to eat a pet’s food and be attacked for it. Make sure any interaction with your relative’s pets and your child is closely supervised at all times.


Holiday parties often include alcoholic beverages. If children are around, it is imperative to keep all alcohol out of their reach. It takes very little alcohol to poison a small child. Ask relatives and friends to keep an eye on their own drink and keep it away from your child.


You most likely have all medications out of your child’s reach at your own home, but your relatives without kids may be used to leaving frequently used medications on a counter or on a low shelf. Ask them to temporarily put all medications up high, out of sight and reach of your child. A common place for kids to find medications is in the purse of a relative. Kids may think they are finding mints or candy. Make sure purses are kept out of reach, especially if they contain medicine or any other dangerous item, such as a lighter.


Some household plants can cause stomach upset if ingested, and some are poisonous. If your relative has plants, ask if they can be temporarily put out of reach of your child.


Above all else, the best childproofing tip is to keep a close eye on your child. No amount of childproofing can fully replace adequate adult supervision. This is especially true in an unfamiliar, non-childproofed environment. Do not assume that because there may be several adults around that your child is safe. Too often, when there are several people gathered for a party or visit, each person assumes another is watching the kids when in reality no one may be paying close enough attention to them.

Taking preventative safety measures in advance of and during your trip can make it safer for your child and more enjoyable for everyone. If your relatives work with you to make their home a safe environment for your child, be sure to thank them for their help!

Toddler Doesn’t Have to Mean Temper Tantrums

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 02:47 pm

Yelling. Fighting. Hitting. Tantrums. Biting. Sound familiar? They are all typical behaviors bad-tempered kids use to make their needs known and to get their way. But here’s a critical parent secret: Hot tempers are learned so they can be unlearned. And calming a hot temper is not only doable but also essential for growing up in this sometimes violent, unpredictable world. Here are six anger management tips from The BIG BOOK OF PARENTING SOLUTIONS.

  1. Commit to raising a controlled kid. Studies show that parents who feel strongly about their kids showing self-restraint succeed because they committed themselves to that effort.
  2. Model coolness. One question parents should ask nightly is: “If my kid had only my behavior to watch, what would he have seen today?” Self-control is learned first at home.
  3. Set a rule: “Talk only when calm.” Refuse to talk to your kid until you and your kid are calm. If needed, lock yourself in the bathroom. Enforce the EXIT rule: walk away until calm.
  4. Identify stress signs. We all have unique physiological stress signs warning us we’re getting angry: flushed cheeks, rapid breathing, dry mouth. Recognize your child’s signs and help him identify them and keep pointing them out until he recognizes them in himself.
  5. Teach your child healthy ways to control that bad temper. Here are a few options:
    • Use self-talk. Teach him an affirmation: a simple, positive message he says to himself in stressful situations. For example: “Stop and calm down,” “Stay in control,” “I can handle this.”
    • Tear anger away. Tell your child to draw or write what is upsetting him on a piece of paper. Then tear it into little pieces and “throw the anger away.”
    • 1 + 3 + 10. As soon as you feel you’re losing control: 1. Tell yourself: ‘Be calm.’ 2. Take three deep, slow breaths. 3. Count slowly to 10. Together it’s 1 + 3 + 10.
    • Abdominal breath control. Inhale slowly to a count of five, pause two counts, slowly breathe out, again counting to five. Repeating the sequence creates maximum relaxation, and reduces stress.
  6. Use the “Rule of 21.” The trick is to find a strategy that matches each kid’s unique temperament and comfort level. It will only become a habit if it is practiced until automatic and usually that’s 21 days!

****************************************************************************************************************************Borba - book cover -parentingsolutions140x180

Dr Borba’s new book The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, is one of the most comprehensive parenting book for kids 3 to 13. This down-to-earth guide offers advice for dealing with children’s difficult behavior and hot button issues including biting, tantrums, cheating, bad friends, inappropriate clothing, sex, drugs, peer pressure and much more. Each of the 101 challenging parenting issues includes specific step-by-step solutions and practical advice that is age appropriate based on the latest research. The Big Book of Parenting Solutions has recently been released and is now available at