How to Baby-Proof Your Home for the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for traditions, fine food, and great company. It can also pose some risks to little ones if safety measures aren’t properly met.

Below are some tips on how to protect your children from potentially hazardous situations in the home.

Deck The Halls with Care

From the flashy blinking lights and glittery ornaments to the abundance of gifts wrapped in brightly colored paper, there’s no doubt that the holiday season is a stimulating time for young children. This of course can make baby-proofing all that more hectic. However, with some minor modifications, Christmas time can not only be merry and bright, but kid-friendly as well.

When it comes to trimming the tree, keep in mind a few safety suggestions, including:

  • Increase the sturdiness of your tree and prevent it from toppling over by placing bricks or other heavy items on top of the stand
  • Use a baby gate or play yard to block off your little one’s access to your tree and gifts
  • Consider hanging shatterproof ornaments and wire lights on the top half of your tree to keep your children from pulling at the decorations and tree branches, which could lead to injury

Your tree isn’t the only thing in need of baby-proofing this holiday season. With an excessive amount of time spent gathered around spreads of food in the kitchen comes extra hazards to be aware of. Table cloths, runners, and placemats should be removed from dining tables if possible and oven door guards should be installed to prevent burns.

Fireplaces and Fire Safety

With colder temps rapidly approaching, your home’s fireplace can provide a central source of heat and added ambience. But before you reach for your matches or lighter, be sure the area is well-maintained and that all potential fire dangers have been addressed. Safety precautions include:

  • Installing a fireplace screen and securing it when a fire is burning
  • Moving gas fireplace keys, logs, matches, lighters, and other fireplace tools out of reach

For protection throughout the home, both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in all major rooms. Each device should be checked monthly and the batteries changed at least once a year.

Holiday Plant Precautions

Many of the common plants found in homes during the holidays are vibrant and can be mistaken as edible by small children; however, many of these are actually poisonous and can cause serious health problems if ingested. Parents should keep the following flowers and plants out of reach for young children:

  • Holly berries
  • Mistletoe
  • Oleander
  • Philodendron
  • Jerusalem cherry
  • Amaryllis

If your child does eat or come into contact with one of the plants mentioned, you should call Poison Control immediately at (800) 222-1222.

Though they are not all poisonous, some plants can still pose a threat to young children if mishandled. You should be sure that all house plants are in secured areas of the home. Remove hanging plants with dangling vines and be sure houseplants on tables and other furniture are out of reach of children.

In addition to knowing where your plants are, you should also be familiar with what’s in them. Be sure to remove materials, such as pebbles or small rocks from pots to reduce the risk of choking. To minimize the risk of accidental poisoning, relocate plants that use any chemicals or fertilizers in the soil to different parts of your home.

Safeguard Your Guests

You can control the items in your home, but you can’t always control your house guests and their possessions. Aside from medication overdoses, cosmetics and personal care products were among the leading causes of calls to poison control centers in 2015 for children under the age of five. This holiday season, be sure to inform all visitors of medicine safety measures to take, and ask all houseguests and visitors to place their purses, suitcases, bags, and jackets that may have medications or potentially harmful substances in them off the floor and out of sight when in your home.

Whether you’re the host or a visitor, household safety is everyone’s responsibility. When fallen into the wrong hands, even the safest of everyday household items can pose a danger to children. That’s why Child-Guard®, our child-resistant closure was created. When used with resealable flexible packaging, Child-Guard® offers peace of mind for parents and caretakers as it safely stores potentially hazardous items and requires a 3-point opening process to access.

Already on some of today’s popular laundry products, Child-Guard® will be making its way to other flexible packaged products in the future.

Do you have an idea for a product that would benefit from child-resistant packaging, or a holiday safety tip? Use the hashtag #guardit on social media to let us know your thoughts! Like us on Facebook for more helpful advice on keeping your home safe and your little ones happy this winter.

 

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