Christmas is a time for children, family and fun but it’s important to remember that it is also a time when additional hazards arise for babies and toddlers. Your home will be a hub of activity and excitement and it is often during this frantic period that accidents can happen.
The festive season is always a busy time with presents to buy, meals to plan and family and friends to entertain. As well as planning for all of this, we’ve got some top tips to ensure that your Christmas is safe as well as fun.
Check your Christmas lights for frayed wires and loose connections and ensure any excess wires are fastened down with tape.
If you’re staying with or visiting relatives or friends over Christmas, bear in mind that safety items you might have at home, such as stair gates and cupboard locks, might not be available where you are staying. If you are borrowing items such as high chairs, ensure they are stable and have secure, working safety straps.
If you decide to buy a real Christmas tree, remember that they shed their pine needles very easily. These can be easy swallowed and are extremely sharp. If you have small children at home it may be sensible to purchase an artificial tree instead. Always fasten your tree securely to the wall to ensure it doesn’t get pulled over by small children.
Put away your treasured glass ornaments for a few years. Sharp, breakable tree trimmings are dangerous choke hazards and put your child in danger of cutting themselves on jagged glass pieces. If you do decide to display your finer things on a table, make sure that any tablecloths or runners do not hang too far over the table’s edge. They’re a tempting handhold for babies just learning to pull themselves up or trying to walk around furniture.
Planning to spend time in front of a roaring fire? Make sure you use a fire screen which fastens to the wall. Keep matches and candles in a safe place, out of reach of children.
Keep your older children’s toys away from younger toddlers and babies; these toys may have small parts which present a choking hazard. Similarly, Christmas crackers often contain small gifts which may not be suitable for young children.