Child-Proofing Your Holidays

The holiday season is only weeks away! I love being able to take this time to enjoy the company of friends and family, and in the last few years, Christmas has taken on a new excitement with the pitter-patter of little children running around. There’s nothing like experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child again. To ensure all have merry time, it’s important to create a safe holiday environment for everyone.

If you have small children, especially babies and toddlers, consider some of these tips to create a safe holiday season for all to enjoy.

Christmas Tree:

  • Skip on the tinsel: Tinsel can be a choking hazard for young children. The shiny shreds are a certain draw for small fingers.
  • Hang breakable ornaments out of your toddler’s reach. They often look like candy; enticing for any child who likes sweets.
  • Keep light strings high on the tree and away from reaching fingers. Run the electrical cord along the wall and secure with duct tape.
  • Make sure you sweep needles up on a regular basis to keep babies from picking them off the floor. Pine needles can cause an irritation or allergic reaction if ingested.
  • Make sure you have a very sturdy stand for your Christmas tree to keep it from falling. The tiny little one that you might have right now is no match for a baby trying to pull themselves up with branches.
  • For more extreme measures, some people suggest blocking off the room where the tree sits with a baby gate or putting a small fence around the tree.

Around the Home

  • Keep mistletoe and Jerusalem cherries out of your home. These are poisonous and can be deadly if ingested by your baby or small child
  • Holly and poinsettias should also be kept out of reach since they are also slightly poisonous
  • The snow globe collection is not a toy. Again, make sure they’re out of reach of your children
  • Food is a large part of the holidays. It’s easy to see the boxes of chocolates and candies, waiting to be picked up by a shopper. Food is a great way to get people together, but it’s also important to keep in mind that not all foods are safe for babies and toddlers.

Visiting with friends and family

The holidays are a great time to visit friends and family and to catch up on the things you may have missed. If you’re visiting with your baby or toddler in tow, it might be a good idea to take a quick look around to make sure you identify baby-unfriendly places. To play it safe, keep your baby with you at all times or make sure someone is watching them while you take a few minutes to yourself.

We have more tips on how to keep your Christmas tree safe from fire and pets. Click here to see some safety suggestions from the Prince Edward County Fire Department.

Do you have any other tricks on keeping the holidays safe this year? Share your ideas with us.

Here’s wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!

1 Comment

  1. Chris Newald 12/15/2011 at 2:26 PM

    These are some great tips. One that's not really a safety concern but bothers me is sparkles. Around Christmas you often run into things coated in sparkles and with children in the house they become such a pain. Not to mention that small kids can end up rubbing them into their eyes or putting fingers in their mouths and end up with a tongue full of what I'm sure can't be good for you!

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