As road trip-weary relatives around the country eagerly pile out of their comfortable four-door sedans and into the festively lit driveways of their favorite loved ones, the Christmas celebration has finally commenced, and with it, so to, has the most dangerous time of the year.
Festive though it may be, with the increased risk of accidents and injuries during the holiday season it’s important to keep the safety of our children in the forefront of our minds.
Lurking among the tinsel and garland are some serious risks that can turn any holly jolly gathering into a tragic trip to the emergency room.
From toxic dangers to choking hazards, knowing what to watch out for this holiday can make the difference between an unexpected Christmas in the hospital and a celebration that your entire family will remember fondly for years to come.
Surprising Hidden Safety Hazards to Be Aware of for Children This Holiday Season
Out of the Mouths Of Babes – While all those fancy bulbs and baubles hanging from the tree bring a beautiful aesthetic to your space, they don’t come without risk, particularly where your little ones are concerned.
Keep any small ornaments out of reach of grasping hands, and watch out for any fragile ornaments on the lower branches.
Toddlers and babies are particularly susceptible to this hazard, so keep a careful eye on them around the tree.
Little Tip: Your baby isn’t the only one in harm’s way when it comes to the possibility of choking. Keep a careful eye on household pets who can easily confuse a brightly colored ball for their favorite chew toy.
Fully Charged – While those tiny cylindrical power sources may not seem like much of a hazard thanks to their small size, batteries can still be problematic if your little gets a hold of them.
Between their highly caustic internal structure, and their burning current output, a swallowed battery can spell disaster, so stay aware, and make sure that not being included is the only stress that batteries cause you this year.
Little Tip: Watch for signs of choking, excessive coughing, and stomach aches throughout the day, and never let toddlers or young children handle batteries, always put them in yourself.
Fun To Play With, Not To Eat – From certain toys and stocking stuffers to the pill bottles your father in law brought for his stay, the holiday brings a considerable amount of toxic substances into your home, all of which need to be carefully controlled around your little ones.
Be sure to read the warning labels on a product before wrapping it to be certain that it will be safe around your babies, and put any possible poisons out of reach as soon as they’re opened.
Make sure to clear a little extra space in the medicine cabinet while the family is in town so that they’ve got a place off the ground to store any medicines or supplements.
Little Tip: Toxic toys and meds aren’t the only things to watch out for this holiday season. If you’re a fan of florals, mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias can all be toxic to young children and pets, and their bright, alluring colors tend to draw in the wandering hands of many toddlers.
Cause for Alarm – One of the biggest risks to your whole family throughout the holiday season is the risk of fire.
From the added electrical stress that all those lights and decorations provide to the extra time spent in the kitchen cooking up a festive feast for the family to enjoy, there are plenty of unfortunate opportunities for tragedy to strike.
Make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries in them before the big day, and make sure that you go over a fire plan ahead of time with the whole family.
Little Tip: At the end of the season, when you’re in the process of taking down the tree and stowing the decor safely away, make sure that you toss any old-fashioned lights still floating through your holiday decor. LED bulbs don’t burn with anywhere near the heat that incandescent bulbs do, and are less of a power draw, lowering the risk of fire from those extended strands.
The Weather Outside Is Frightful – A few Reindeer games out in the snow are, for many families, an integral part of the celebration of the big day, but if you’re headed outside this white Christmas, you’ll need to be aware of some of the dangers cold weather could pose for you and your little ones.
Frostbite and hypothermia are quicker to set in than many children realize, particularly on those frosty, windswept winter mornings, so be sure to watch for warning signs as your little ones may not even realize that there’s anything wrong.
Be sure that you bring your kids in periodically if they’re planning on spending extended time outdoors this holiday, and dress them in plenty of warm layers.
Watch out for bright red skin on the hands, feet, and face in particular, and make sure that they’ve got a full chance to warm back up before they head back out for the next snowball fight.
Little Tip: Though the weather outside may be frosty if the sun is still shining, sunburns are a real concern. Make sure that anyone going outside has on sunscreen, especially on their face, the part of their body most likely to be exposed this time of year.
They Can’t Stand The Heat – For many families, some of the best festive memories of the season are made in the kitchen, whipping up one of the biggest dinners of the year, so it’s understandable that many parents are eager to bring in their newest little one to get in on the fun.
Unfortunately, kitchens can be a source of some serious hazards for babies, toddlers, and even young children, especially with so many bodies moving around prepping, cooking, and baking.
Never bring your baby along by arm, sling, or carrier if you are planning on cooking, as the splashback could cause burns or worse, and make sure that they are far away while you’re handling cutlery.
A simple misstep or accident in the kitchen can mean danger for everyone involved, so keep your little from underfoot, and safely in his crib or playpen while the cooking is going on.
Little Tip: If you really want to take some time with your children in the kitchen, do so on Christmas eve, baking cookies or other treats in a safe and controlled environment, and always have at least one other adult on hand dedicated to keeping an eye on them.
Pack It In – After the unwrapping is complete, you’ll more than likely have a plethora of spare paper, bows, and boxes lying around the living room.
Your children may relish the opportunity to turn a box into whatever their imagination tells them it could be, but while they’re having fun with it, make sure that all the excess detritus gets bagged up and out of the way.
All that clutter can conceal a plethora of dangers, from broken ornaments to scissors, hiding possible problems just steps from where your little ones are playing.
Little Tip: While stepping away from the party may be less than fun, throughout the day take time out to do quick sweeps of the house, clearing any clutter as you go. Keep a general eye out for spots that can put anyone into undue harm to help guide you, your littles, and your whole family safely through a merry and bright celebration.