Creative Child

Safety: Avoiding Hidden Holiday Hazards

This season, give little ones the gift of safety and kid-proof your merrymaking with these quick, easy tips.

1. Deck the halls with kid-safe baubles.

Flickering candles can warm tiny bodies and hearts of a cold winter’s night, but consider switching to the wick-less, electronic variety when small children are underfoot. Many flameless LED candles flicker just like the real thing and come available in classic holiday scents. Ensure your tree is hazard-free by hanging breakable ornaments on top branches and keeping the tree stand filled with water at all times to avoid drying.

Look for the “Underwriters Laboratory” (UL) label on any indoor lights you hang, which indicates fire resistance, and check those strands each year for frayed or open wires – cats and rats can do a number on stored light strings in the off-season. Use caution when decorating with artificial snow and angel hair; to little eyes (and pets) it may look a lot like spun sugar. 


2. By gosh, by golly, rethink that mistletoe and holly.

No holiday party feels complete without a cheerful sprig of mistletoe hanging over the threshold, but did you know that many popular holiday plants can be poisonous if ingested by children? On the danger list: mistletoe berries, holly berry, amaryllis, poinsettia plants and Jerusalem cherry. It’s easy for small kids to mistake those colorful little berries for the edible variety, so hang your festive winter greenery high out of reach of little hands, or skip it entirely.

Keep in mind, too, that many household holiday trimmings (think potpourri and garlands) can easily be mistaken for edible treats by toddlers.

Related Article: Child and Dog Safety at Holiday Gatherings

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