The holidays are a joyful time, but as you deck the halls it is important to remember hidden hazards for children. Common holiday choking hazards include ornaments, lights and other decorations, snacks, toy parts and batteries.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these safety tips for a healthy, happy holiday season:
▪ Keep tree lights out of the reach of young children.
Never miss a local story.
▪ Avoid decorations that look like food, are sharp or breakable, or contain small removable or loose parts.
▪ When hosting parties, keep bowls of snacks such as popcorn or nuts and alcoholic beverages out of the reach of young children.
▪ Keep potentially poisonous decorative plants away from children.
▪ Make sure wrapping, ribbons and toy packaging are disposed of properly.
▪ Choose age-appropriate toys. Keep small items like button batteries and magnets where young children can’t reach them. If your child ingests batteries or magnets, call your health-care provider immediately.
▪ Know the national poison-control number: 1-800-222-1222.
Finally, as a pediatrician I encourage all parents to learn CPR and basic first aid. You can find classes for parents in your area through the Red Cross or American Heart Association.
Danielle Horton, M.D.
It was sad to see there will be no more co-productions of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Kansas City Symphony and the Independence Messiah Choir (11-27, D3, “Classical Beat”).
I learned to love the music years ago in high school when we would have the Singing Christmas Tree.
My high school music teacher said if we had the chance to see the Messiah Festival in Lindsborg, Kan., we should. It was a most uplifting program.
It’s sad to see financial reasons listed for the loss of such great music.
Church and politics
When I became a Christian in 1956, the evangelical church was not involved in politics. Over the years that changed dramatically, with a concurrent loss of cultural influence on the part of the church.
Until 2016. The church aligned with what I consider the most satanic forces in America to achieve a political goal. The church is now celebrating victory along with the neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party and other white supremacists and hate groups.
Once the church embedded itself into politics, such a conflict was inevitable. The mantra of politics is power. The mantra of Christianity is service. Those two things do not mix.
America will not overlook this unholy alliance.
As a Christian, I am burdened greatly to imagine what the church has lost and whether we will ever regain our credibility.
I think the next four years will be a great test of the effectiveness of the U.S. Constitution.
It was designed by men who had spent part of their lives suffering under the rule of a uncompassionate and incompetent ruler, King George III.
They knew it was inevitable that at times in the future such bad-acting leaders would manage to be elected to power in the new country they were founding. So this knowledge informed how they wrote the Constitution. They constructed it to mitigate the damage such undesirable leaders could do.
We will be living through a special age in American history over the next few years. We will see whether their constitutional safeguards are as effective as our Founding Fathers had hoped.
We should not eliminate the Electoral College. One of its unused reasons for existence is as a firewall against an unqualified or unacceptable candidate.
The precedent set by previous electors changing the winner away from the popular vote was the opposite of what should have happened.
I believe a 2 million-vote popular win indicates that a better compromise candidate should be chosen.
This is an appropriate year to set a new, better precedent.
On Dec. 19, when the electors cast their ballots, we will see whether the process works as intended.
Trump’s wealth different
If the President-elect divested himself of his real estate empire using a blind trust or equivalent arrangement as the ethics experts advise, that would necessitate a fire sale of the assets, triggering substantial losses and egregious tax consequences.
I witnessed that type of strategy for 11 years, when every one of my fellow incoming members of the Federal Reserve Board deposited their assets into a blind trust.
But of course, those assets were stocks and bonds, and no fire sale precipitated their giving total control to a third party.
Like it or not, Trump's wealth is different, and it is this difference that attracted his supporters. He has done the only thing feasible under the circumstances — transferred control to his children. To expect or even demand anything else is ludicrous.
As a military vet, I would continue to defend my country against all comers. This means that I would also defend the First Amendment freedom of my fellow citizens to burn the darn flag in protest, if they choose.
I would not like it one bit, of course, but this is America. Someone tell the president-elect.