‘Tis the season for decking the halls, trimming a tree and hanging lights just about everywhere. But, when you have a little one toddling around, safety concerns with decorating are top of mind. Here are some helpful safety tips as you’re getting in a festive mood!
Picking the perfect tree. When choosing a (safe) tree, select either a fire-resistant artificial tree (it will denote that it’s been treated to be flame-resistant on the label or box) or a fresh live tree. A live tree should be green, with needles that are hard to pull off. If you go with a live tree, make sure to keep it watered regularly (trees can be thirsty and get dried out quickly!) and keep it away from the fireplace, portable heaters and heat vents.
Light it up. Before hanging lights, check to make sure that they’re not damaged at all (cracked bulbs, broken sockets or exposed wires). And, don’t use more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord or overload electrical outlets, which will help avoid a short.
Make it sturdy. Find a wide, secure base for your tree. The sturdier the base, the less likely that the tree can be pulled down or tip over.
Snow looks like candy. While your babies are little, it might be wise to forego artificial snow and flocking material. It looks like candy, but it’s toxic. Alternatively, only use it on surfaces (like a high shelf) where little ones can’t reach.
Decorate wisely. If you have ornaments that are breakable or sharp, consider only using them on the top half of the tree (however high your child can’t reach). Then, fill in the bottom portion of your tree with pretty, plastic ornaments that won’t break if your little one pulls them off. Additionally, look for décor that is made of non-leaded materials and without small pieces.
Not yummy. Avoid decorations that resemble food or candy—such as strings of popcorn or candy canes on the tree. That way, your child won’t be confused that decorations are edible.
Stockings beware. The heavy stocking hangers that are so popular—often crafted out of heavy ceramics or metal, in cute shapes of Santa, nutcrackers or elves—can pose a risk. Toddlers and preschoolers can pull the stocking and the heavy holder right with it.
Travel safely. If you find yourself at a friend or family member’s home this holiday season, remember that their abode might not be as child-proof as yours is.
Check it. The holidays are a great time—when you have so many things “lit”—to test and check all the safety devices in your home. Replace batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. You’ll enjoy a bit of extra peace of mind…and having extra batteries around doesn’t hurt for all of those gadgets that might turn up under the tree!
No matter where you find yourself this holiday season, we wish you a safe and happy time!