The holiday season is a magical time. It brings together family and friends from all over the country and even the wider world. People look forward to gathering together to eat delicious meals, share memories of good times, and exchange gifts. The holidays are a busy time – gifts have to be chosen and wrapped, the house has to be decorated, and then there is the shopping and the cooking. If you have children coming for the festivities, with everything else that is going on it’s easy to overlook child safety hazards. Homes are decorated with Christmas trees, mistletoe, candles, menorahs, and other holiday items. Here are some tips to childproof your holiday decorations.
- Secure your Christmas tree to a wall to avoid a tip over.
- Kids love to grab shiny, pretty things, so put your glass ornaments toward the top of your tree and kid-safe plastic ones on the bottom half. Surround your tree with large gifts or boxes disguised as presents to help keep a crawling child away from enticing low-hanging ornaments.
- Place fragile decorations and candles on a high mantelpiece where your guests can admire them, but children can’t reach them.
- Keep candle-lit menorahs out of the way of children. Better yet, use menorahs with electric bulbs instead of real candles.
- Watch little kids around holiday tablecloths. Toddlers can pull on them and bring down plates, candles, flower arrangements, etc. on top of their heads.
- Don’t hang real mistletoe. The berries may look very tasty to kids, but they are poisonous. You can buy child-safe, artificial mistletoe and still get that kiss.
- Beware of the eggnog. To a child, spiked eggnog may look like milk, so be careful where you put it.
- Keep bowls of small candies or nuts out of reach of little ones. They can be choking hazards.
- Make sure your child’s holiday gifts are childproof before handing them over. Not every gift-giver understands what toys may pose hazards for young children.
Other Childproofing Steps to Pay Attention to
Apart from paying attention to your holiday decorations, you need to look at the following in order to make your home as childproof as possible.
- Small children and window cords don’t mix. These seemingly harmless items may become strangulation hazards. If you have window cords, make sure they are safely secured in such a way that tiny hands can’t reach them.
- If you have young children sleeping over, move all beds, cribs, furniture, and toys well away from windows and window cords. If you have a child sleeping on a high floor, make sure you have childproof window guards on the windows or that your windows are secured in such a way that a child cannot open them.
- Go around your house and check your electric cords. Make sure that any cords from appliances are not hanging off the counter where they could be grabbed by a child.
- The kitchen can be a dangerous place for young children, so keep them out of there and away from hot foods and liquids. Splashing or steam from cooking vegetables, making gravy, or brewing coffee could cause severe burns. Get into the habit of turning the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
- Check that your smoke alarms are in working order. You need an alarm in every sleeping area and on each landing in your home.
Do You Need Help During the Holidays?
If you live in the Columbia SC area and you have special needs children in your house for the holidays, Caring Healthcare can provide you with any assistance you may need. Give us a call to see how we can help ensure that the children in your home have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.