Getting ready to party? Here’s a checklist from the Home Safe & Sound booklet, with tips on making the event safe, especially for little guests:
- Child-proof your home thoroughly before the party. Check for sharp corners, uncovered outlets, and open staircases in the party area.
- Check for food and pet allergies among the guests before the party. Common children’s food allergies include milk, flour, eggs, and nuts. Do not serve an allergic child any food with questionable ingredients without the consent of her parents.
- Recruit adult help. Assign responsibilities so parent volunteers don’t just stand around or get bored. For 3- to 5-year-olds, try to have one parent for every five children; as children get older, the ratio increases.
- Beware of rubber balloons, which are the No. 1 cause of non-food choking in youngsters; mylar balloons present less of a choking hazard. After use, cut balloons in half, place them in tightly sealed plastic bags, and discard promptly.
- Supervise children around a cake with lit candles. Tell the children to sit down before the cake is brought out. Because children love to grab the candles after they have been blown out, organize a counting game where the kids must count to 30 before touching the candles. Also, do not leave matches unattended.
- Fill piņatas with small, soft, harmless toys and wrapped candies. Choose candies that cannot lodge in the throat, and keep children out of range as each child swings the bat at the piņata.
- Tell guests to bring socks and sneakers to a party at which running games are planned.