Holiday safety tips are not something parents with small children may want to think about. They are not fun or sexy, but they are essential to keep your family safe. There will be time for decorating, entertaining, and food (lots and lots of food), but don’t get too caught up in the frenzy of the season to engage in activities that are unsafe for your family. For those of us with young kids under the age of five, we need to be particularly cognizant of these holiday safety tips.
No parent wants to think about accidents that can befall their children, but they need to! It is during the holidays, when we tend to get distracted, that accidents can happen. Being aware of dangers in your home that come with the holidays is the first step in making sure you or your family are not a victim this season.
Four Holiday Safety Tips for Families of Small Children
- Your Christmas tree should not be a fire hazard. For those getting a live tree, be sure it is fresh. And remember that fresh trees do not last long. After a few weeks of being cut down, a fresh Christmas tree can start losing its dry needles which can be extremely flammable in case of a fire. You may want to opt for an artificial tree, but make sure it is fire-retardant.
- Upgrade your holiday lights. Do you have holiday light sets you used as a child? Or ones you have kept from college? Do they have frayed wires, gaps in insulation, broken sockets, bare spots, or excessive wear? If so, it is probably time to let them go. One spark from a faulty string of lights can have a disastrous effect. Check the state of your lights throughout the holiday season to make sure they continue operating in working order. Of course try to avoid having the kids pull on the lights or the Christmas tree to create wear and tear on the wires. Also, experts advise against leaving holiday lights on while you are away from home.
- Be smart when it comes to decorations. At times during the holidays, common sense can go out the window. Don’t let it! When you are in the season of having small children in the home, you may want to avoid glass ornaments because you almost certainly will have to deal with at least one breaking. Small decorations, including ornament hooks, can be swallowed so clean up fastidiously after decorating. When you are a parent of small children, these are the years for preschool hand prints, plastic multi-colored balls, and the wooden ornaments from your own youth. There will be time later for the magazine-style trees you dream about!
- Make sure laundry materials are of out reach of children. Whether you are visiting relatives or you’re the host this holiday season, don’t forget to put all laundry materials, including liquid laundry packets, out of reach of small children or behind a locked door. This is especially important when staying in someone else’s home who may not have small children around or who may not be as safety conscious as you are. A recent study found that 81% of parents thought their children couldn’t reach the laundry packets, but they could! Don’t underestimate your little ones! To learn more visit KeyPledge.com and take the KEY Pledge to a safe laundry room and routine.
When you are have small children in the house during the holidays, you get to experience the pure joy of looking at this special time through their eyes. However you also have the duty to not let the holiday spirit cloud your judgement and to keep your whole family safe. Following these holiday safety tips for families of small children you can avoid a lot of issues in the coming months. Use these holiday safety tips as guidelines to make sure this really is the most wonderful time of the year!