Keep your Kids Safe this Holiday Season
Health & Safety

Keep your Kids Safe this Holiday Season

by Martha Scully

​Now that it’s nearing the end of the first week of December, we’re seeing more Christmas lights coming on in the evenings, and more trees being taken home on top of the car. Many people start decorating their houses for the holidays around the first week of December. With that in mind, we have a few tips to keep your family safe around the holiday decorations!

Christmas Tree:

  • If you’re putting up a real tree this year, make sure it is always well watered, as dry trees are an extreme fire hazard
  • Ensure the tree is safely anchored in its stand so it will not fall on anyone
  • Check each strand of lights to make sure they’re working, replacing bulbs as needed, and throwing out any with frayed cords or damaged sockets
  • Check the extension cords you’re using to make sure they’re in top shape as well
  • Don’t overload extension cords, and never run them under carpets or mats
  • Turn off all tree lights when leaving the house or going to bed
  • Use flame resistant ornaments wherever possible to reduce risk of fire hazard
  • Put any breakable ornaments, ornaments with detachable parts, or anything that looks like candy or food on upper branches, away from small hands
  • If you have small children or animals, don’t use tinsel and keep ribbon tucked away

Toys:

  • Always follow the age recommendation for your children’s toys for safety reasons
  • Prevent choking hazards by ensuring toys are larger than the child’s fist if under 3
  • Before giving a toy to your child to play with, inspect it for parts that could break off and be swallowed
  • Stay away from toys with long strings or cords, and always supervise when playing with these toys to avoid strangulation
  • Check all battery operated toys, ensuring batteries are in good condition. Old batteries can leak and cause burns, and button-type batteries can be swallowed

Celebrations:

  • Always have someone to supervise children at holiday parties, or leave them at home with a trusted and trained babysitter
  • If hosting the holiday party, consider hiring a babysitter, or designating a family member to care for any children attending the party
  • Tidy up immediately after the party to ensure children don’t eat some leftovers, or find tobacco or alcohol left out
  • Keep all coats and purses out of children’s reach, as they’ll be curious and may find things they shouldn’t touch in pockets
  • If you take your children to someone else’s home for a party, remember that it may not be childproofed, so look for any hazards to you children

More on this topic: - Tips & Advice

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.