Holiday Traveling, Shopping, and Safety Tips

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It’s the eve of many celebrations, family gatherings, a day of last-minute shopping, a whirlwind of traveling, the dawning of a new year, and a popular time of year for emergency rooms everywhere!

Here are a few tips and tricks to make the best out of the crowning holiday season and avoid its pitfalls.

Keep your mind on the road. Despite your shopping and traveling cares, while driving, mind the road because you can’t rely on other motorists to do the same. And this is a heightened time for driving under the influence. Therefore, be extra cautious.

Know the warning signs of a heart attack. Holiday stress is very real, especially when you add drinking, excessive eating, and skipping meds. And whether you, your partner, or visiting family members are at risk, it’s important to know how to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack, so you can seek medical attention right away.

imageShopping hack: Buy reusable gift bags! This is a perk for last-minute shoppers. Reusable gift bags cost about $1 on average, while traditional gift bags cost approximately $3. That adds up, plus you’re helping the environment. Win-win!

How to open those hard plastic packages like a boss. Every year, we struggle and mumble trying to open those ridiculously diffcult-to-open plastic packages. And a lot of people actually end up in hospital ERs with serious lacerations because of them. Instead of using scissors, box cutters, and knives, open those things with a hand-held can opener!

While driving long distance, don’t let the kids relax too much! Remember when we were kids and we used to lie down in the back seat during those long rides? Yeah, well, we know better now. Keep older kids buckled up behind shoulder and lap seat belts and the little ones firmly buckled in their booster and car seats. Harness straps should be smooth, not twisted; chest clips fastened and at armpit level; and for rear-facing car seats, the straps should be at or below the shoulders, forward-facing car seats, at or above.

Designate a driver. By all means drink and be merry, but be smart about it. Don’t put yourself, your family, or anyone else’s at risk.

Give the kids chamomile tea on Christmas Eve. Or try to go to bed early because you know they’ll be up the minute the sun peeks over the horizon (or sooner). Good luck with this one!

Family coming to visit? Take a second look at your decked halls for hazards. If you have small children and/or elderly family members coming to visit, you may want to take extra safety precautions with those decorations: look for strangulation hazards, clutter that may cause slip-and-falls, low-hanging glass ornaments, etc. And expect curious little cutie pies to tinker with the Christmas tree. Make sure it’s secure and won’t tip over!

Let PEACE reign! Extended family gatherings, though warm and fuzzy on the outside, can be emotionally raw ordeals on the inside, and often require only a few snide remarks to bring things to a boiling point.

However, as annoying as some family members can be, only we ourselves are responsible for our own peace. If someone upsets us, we gave them that control. If we take offense at something someone says, we have to actively make the decision to TAKE offense, and, in turn, GIVE UP our peace. Or, we can decide to stay in control of our emotions, keep our calm, let annoying family members be annoying, and let peace reign!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Thank you for being tuned in parents! A special thanks to Baby Car Seat Installers, Molly in Los Angeles, and Amara in San Francisco for their tips today! I welcome your comments, suggestions, stories, and more parenting tips here and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

-Elle C.

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children's book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and "make it workology," she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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