with Less Fear
Let’s be honest. The holidays can be stressful. Whether you’re hosting your extended family and friends, celebrating with just your household, or travelling, here are some basic tips to help make things safer for little ones. Remember, the way you decorate and even celebrate the holidays will probably need to be altered when you have little ones involved. Just know it’s temporary and their safety is the most important thing. No doubt, you’ll be able to carry on with your traditions in years to come!
When lighting menorahs, holiday candles, etc., place them in sink to burn so they’re out of little ones’ reach and water is easily accessible should an accident occur.
Christmas trees should be gated off, if possible, and even anchored to avoid tip-over.
Consider placing the tree in a room that isn’t frequented as often as a family room.
Hang ornaments up high so they can’t be pulled off or pulled hard enough to tip the tree.
Keep tree well-watered.
Only hang string lights up high and out of reach. Anything longer than 7” is considered a strangulation hazard.
Household decorations should also be placed or hung up high and out of reach.
Cook on back burners so little hands can’t pull hot pots off the stovetop or burn themselves on the burner.
Avoid using tablecloths and placemats. Little ones often pull on them to help themselves stand up, pulling over everything that’s on the tabletop (hot plate of food, utensils, glasses, etc.)
Remind visitors to be mindful when drinking hot beverages. Drink at the table to avoid scalds on little ones.
Keep serving dishes up high and out of little ones’ reach—place them in the middle of kitchen island or table.
Make sure the gifts you’re giving and receiving are age-appropriate.
Small parts pose a choking hazard to little ones. Check all toys before allowing kids to play with them.
Magnets are also a choking danger and can cause serious problems if they stick together inside the body.
Although cute and cuddly, stuffed animals are not for the crib. Not only do they pose a suffocation hazard for infants, they’re also dangerous for toddlers who may step on them to climb (fall!) out of the crib.
Batteries pose choking and poisoning hazards.
Keep button/coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of reach and sight—musical cards, remote controls, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, toys, calculators, key fobs, holiday decorations, etc.
Store extra batteries up high and out of reach.
Show guests how to properly operate your gates, toilet locks, kitchen and bathroom cabinet and drawer locks, etc. (Also, remind them to keep gates closed when not in use!)
Have age-specific toys accessible—consider setting up separate play areas for older and younger kids.
Remind parents to keep a close eye on their kids when visiting your home.
Assess the place where you’re staying. Move things around to make it safer for your family.
Remind host to put things up high, out of sight/reach BEFORE you arrive.
Borrowing or renting a crib? Inspect it and use a screwdriver to make sure screws are tight.
Consider bringing a gate, toilet lock, tub thermometer, etc.
Be on lookout for potential furniture tip-over situations.
Pack slip-resistant socks/slippers for kids.
Be mindful of doors and windows—Remind older children and adults to keep them closed.
If travelling to warm weather location, remember “all eyes on kids” when near water (pool, beach, etc.). Take turns (30 minute increments) where at least 1 adult is 100% focused on the kids. No picture taking, emailing, posting on social media, etc.!
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!