Hosting a great children’s party is about more than securing the piñata and decorating the perfect Spider-Man cake. A successful children’s party is one that is safe and free of potential hazards.
Below are 10 things you should do before hosting a child’s party in your house, condo or apartment. These tips apply whether you have young children of your own at home or you’re simply acting as the host or hostess for another person’s child.
1. Get emergency contact information for all guests – Once you have secured all RSVPs, ask parents or guardians for the name and number of emergency contacts for all young guests. This includes the name and number of pediatricians and preferred hospitals or medical care centers.
2. Request information about allergies and relevant medical conditions – Create an organized list of each child’s allergies, including food and medications. Clarify the severity of any allergies, such as whether a child’s bee sting requires the administration of an EpiPen or whether a party must be peanut-free. Also take note of any relevant medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes or asthma.
3. Secure entry to backyard pools or other drowning hazards – Ensure there is no point of entry to any swimming pools, decorative ponds or other potential drowning hazards.
4. Have enough seating for all children – Most any food can be a choking hazard if consumed while a child is playing or running. Provide areas where the kid can sit while eating.
5. Safely stow away all prescription and over-the-counter medications – Lock away all medications in a secure location that is inaccessible to curious young hands.
6. Remove all slip-and-fall hazards – Young children are particularly susceptible to slip and fall injuries, owing to their underdeveloped sense of balance and coordination. Watch for things like loose rugs on tile floors or spilled liquids.
7. Double-check all child safety devices – Ensure all chemicals are stowed in cabinets with functional child-safety locks. Check that other protective devices – such as hot-water faucet guards – are in good working order. This may be especially important if you do not normally have small children in your home.
8. Check batteries – Check the battery life on all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace any old batteries. While you are at it, develop an exit strategy in the unlikely event of a fire or similar emergency situation.
9. Do a safety inspection – Conduct a top-to-bottom safety inspection a few days prior to the party. Check all items on this list and look for other hazards, such as unsecured second-story windows or sharp edges on furniture.
10. Lock up family pets in another room of the house – Even the best-behaved pets can bite or scratch an unfamiliar guest if the animal feels threatened or frightened. Before the first guest arrives, safely lock away pets in another area of the house with access to food, water and a comfortable sleeping surface.
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