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. These distractions can make baby-proofing all the more hectic. However, with some minor modifications, the holidays can not only be merry and bright, but kid friendly as well.
When it comes to trimming the tree, many parents wonder how to baby-proof a Christmas tree. We’ve complied some helpful tips, including:
- Prevent it from toppling over by placing bricks or other heavy items on top of the tree stand
- Use a baby gate or playpen yard to block off access to your tree
- Consider hanging shatterproof ornaments and wire lights on the top half of your tree to keep children from pulling the decorations and tree branches
Your tree isn’t the only item 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. Tablecloths, runners, and placemats should be removed from dining tables 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 matches or a lighter, ensure that all potential fire dangers have been addressed. Safety precautions include:
- Install a fireplace screen to baby proof when a fire is burning
- Move logs, matches, lighters, and other fireplace tools out of reach
- Keep children away from the glass on a gas fireplace as it could become too hot
For protection throughout the home, install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all major rooms. Check each device monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
Holiday Plant Precautions
Many 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. Kid-proofing house plants is critical to protecting your children, and keep the following plants unattainable:
- Holly berries
- Jerusalem cherry
If your child does eat or come into contact with one of these plants, immediately call Poison Control at (800) 222-1222.
Though not all plants are poisonous, some plants can still pose a threat to young children if mishandled. Make sure to baby-proof plants in all areas of the home. Remove hanging plants with dangling vines and any houseplants on tables and other furniture should be out of reach of children.
In addition to being mindful of the locations and toxicity of your plants, you should also be familiar with what’s in their soil. Remove materials such as pebbles or small rocks from pots to reduce the risk of choking. Also relocate plants that use any chemicals or fertilizers in the soil to parts of your home inaccessible for young children.
Safeguard Your Guests
You can control the items in your home, but you can’t always control your house guests and their possessions. This holiday season, inform all visitors of medicine safety measures to take, and ask all houseguests to place their purses, suitcases, bags, and jackets that may have medications or potentially harmful substances off the floor and out of sight.
Whether you’re the host or a visitor, household safety is everyone’s responsibility. When in the wrong hands, even the safest everyday household items can pose danger to children. That’s why we created Child-Guard® child-resistant closure. When used with resealable flexible packaging such as bags and pouches, the Child-Guard® sliders offers peace of mind for parents as it safely stores potentially hazardous items and requires a three-point opening process to access.
Already on some of today’s popular laundry products, Child-Guard® slider will be making its way to other flexible packaged products in the future. Find us on Facebook for more helpful advice on keeping your home safe and your little ones happy this winter.
This article was originally published on 11/21/2016 but updated and republished on 10/10/2022.