Image by @terri.tex
1. KEEP AN EYE ON THE KIDDOS. Holiday time is ripe with small objects strewn around the house. Decorations, wrapping paper, small toy parts, coins, and hard candy can easily be scooped up by a toddler and pose a choking hazard. Loose strands of lights, ribbons, and cords longer than 7” present a strangulation risk, while broken ornament shards can cut bare feet. Secure decorations so they are out of the reach of babies and young children, and keep an eye on them when enjoying the festive family room.
2. FIRE PROOF. Watch out for frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections on holiday lights. A couple of sparks on a dry tree and you could have an out of control fire before you know it—make sure to purchase a fresh tree with green, sturdy, and pliable needles and keep the stand filled with water. Hang decorations away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and heating vents. Don’t overload circuits. And while the warm glow looks pretty through the window, don’t leave candles burning in the house when you go to sleep (opt for candles that are not made from petroleum paraffin wax that emit toxic fumes and smoke).
3. COOK SMART. Entertaining at home or cooking with the kids? Ensure that lasting memories are made by keeping hot pots on the back burners of the stove to avoid accidental spills, scalding water, steam, and flames. Watch out for raw meat cross-contamination—wash hands and surfaces well before and after coming in contact with the food. Don’t be afraid to point guests to the living room so you can focus on cooking safely in the kitchen.
4. PLANT DANGER. It turns out all those pretty plants everyone decorates with for Christmas are poisonous if eaten. Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and Jerusalem cherry plants should be away from little ones and pets. For a poison emergency in the U.S., call 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers).
5. TOY SAFETY. It would seem if a store is selling a toy, then it’s safe. But that’s not always true. Sometimes toys have been recalled and stores may not be aware yet. If something seems loose or especially shoddy, investigate the latest toy recalls at the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the most recent updates.
6. PARTY PUNCH. Little kids and alcohol is not a combo that usually comes to mind. Believe it or not, alcohol poisoning is one of the leading reasons for children’s hospital visits over the holidays. With drinks that look kid-friendly, like spiked punch and Eggnog, little ones can easily mistake them as safe for consumption. And as curious eaters, kids often sample unattended and leftover alcoholic beverages sitting around the house during and after parties.
7. BUCKLE UP. Traveling for the holidays? Make sure all your car seats and boosters are installed properly. Even if it’s a short trip in a friend’s car, always buckle in the kids properly. Everyone is rushing around this time of year and it only takes a split second for an accident to occur.
8. STAY HEALTHY. Remind everyone to wash hands A LOT. The last thing you want is a winter cold going around your house. Don’t force kids to hug or kiss every visitor that walks in the door. Teach kids it’s best to cough or sneeze into their elbow not their hands. Well, a tissue would be best but we all know those aren’t always available.
9. SNOW WISE. It could be a white Christmas this year and, if so, that means fun in the snow. If the kids plan on sledding down a steep hill, have them wear helmets just like when they ride their bikes.
10. THE YEARLY TEST. It’s the perfect time of year to check and replace all the safety gadgets around your house like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and house alarms. Make sure everything has batteries and is working correctly. It’s a great habit to get into so you can take it off your list as you enter the New Year.
~ Jill Besnoy
We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.blog_review_statement