It’s time to deck the halls…but this year maybe not with boughs of holly. Christmas is an exciting time with children, but if you’ve got a curious toddler in the house, you’ll need to make sure you’re baby-proofing your Christmas tree and other holiday decor. As beautiful as your decor looks, it might be potentially hazardous to babies. Christmas trees especially pose a lot of risk. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a beautifully decorated house. Here are some safety tips to ensure your holiday decor is baby proof:
When it comes to your Christmas tree, there are several precautions you’ll need to take.
If you have a live tree, be sure to water it often. Dry trees strung with lights or near a fireplace could easily catch fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2014–2018 U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 yearly home fires that started with Christmas trees. Check water levels daily.
If you opt for an artificial tree, be sure it’s fireproof. If the tree is pre-lit be sure to check if there have been any recalls on that specific tree.
Use shatterproof, plastic ornaments. Don’t hang glass ornaments or fragile decor on the tree, especially in reach of children. If you plan on hanging special ornaments, hang them on the top branches. Also ensure there aren’t any small ornaments that could be choking hazards.
Don’t use tinsel. All that glittery tinsel looks really appealing to young eyes. Children pulling on tinsel can potentially bring down the tree, and tinsel also poses a choking hazard if ingested.
Be careful with light strands. Another pulling and choking hazard, light strands can also be dangerous. Most pre-lit artificial trees have strands that are more secured or aren’t immediately obvious to children to pull. But if the lights are hung low, children can still potentially try to put them in their mouth.
Secure the tree. To ensure children don’t pull down the tree, you can secure it to the wall. Anchor it with fishing lines and hooks in the wall or anti-tip furniture straps.
Block access to the tree with a safety gate. Put a baby gate or picket fence tree gate around the tree so toddlers can’t even go up to it. If you’re not thrilled with the look of a gate, you can put large, holiday wrapped boxes around it for a more festive look.
Leave off the bows and ribbons. If you’re putting gifts under the tree, make sure they don’t have bows or ribbons that children can pull off and ingest. Or better yet, just wait until Christmas Eve to put all the gifts out.
OTHER HOLIDAY DECOR
Keep live plants out of reach of children and pets. Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly berries all are poisonous to children and pets if ingested. Put them on mantels or high places. Or switch to silk/artificial plants until children are old enough.
Use flameless candles. You can still put the candles in the windows, but this year make them flameless. Flickering, flameless candles look just as nice and are much safer than having a real flickering flame tempting children to grab it.
Watch the candy dishes. If you put out Christmas candies like mints and Jordan almonds, be sure the dishes are out of reach of children. You wouldn’t want them to grab the candies and choke on them.
Keep breakables out of reach. Again, keep any breakable decorations like glass figurines or porcelain nativities high up and out of reach of prying fingers. If any decor is on a table runner or table cloth, make sure it’s not overhanging to a point where it can be pulled down.
Test your holiday decor safety knowledge by taking the quiz above. Everyone that passes will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon Gift card!