If you use candles as part of your holiday festivities, make sure to put them out of reach of children to avoid burns. Also make sure that they aren’t sitting on a decorative runner, doily, or other piece of fabric that the child can pull on, possibly resulting in burns. Also be sure to put them out when you leave a room. Unattended candles, especially in the presence of children, are a recipe for disaster.
Using candles for their pleasant scents can be avoided by using potpourri, but even this has its hazards. Be careful that the potpourri isn’t accessible to children. The mix is often made with small fruits, nuts, petals and pods, all of which can be appealing for children to put in their mouths, a clear choking hazard. Put it up or keep it covered with a mesh that is secured to the top to keep the pieces out of little hands.
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When decorating your tree, be aware of breakable ornaments. Glass ornaments, along with many thin metal orbs, can shatter and break if they fall or if a child reaches for one. Keeping these ornaments out of reach or off your tree altogether can help protect your child. Also be careful with ornaments that resemble food or candy, just in case a toddler is tempted to eat them.
During holiday parties, make sure to set guests purses and coasts where children won’t be tempted to rifle through them. Often guests have medications, coins, and other hazards children might be tempted to take and eat. Use a spare bedroom with a closed door or a high shelf to hold guests’ things while they are around.
Be aware of small parts in toys. Even in larger toys, items like screws and batteries can come loose and become a choking hazard. Always double check toys, electronics, and other gifts for small loose parts before giving them to your child.
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Last, if you’re traveling for the holidays, be aware of your surroundings. Many people don’t take precautions to childproof their homes simply because there are so rarely children there. Consider gates on the stairs, covers on the outlets, childproof containers, and safety locks on cabinets. Being aware of the risks is the first step towards minimizing them
Keeping these tips and some common sense in mind, your holiday season can be safe and enjoyable. Happy Holidays!