4 Ways Parents with Young Children Can Avoid Holiday Hazards

holiday safetyThe holiday season is a time of great joy for families with young children, but it can also present several hazards exclusive to the season. Make sure you close the year right by providing a safe environment for little ones with these tips.

1) Keep Toxic Plants Out of Reach

While it is a myth that ingesting a poinsettia leaf is deadly, eating more than one could make a child very nauseated and may induce vomiting. Mistletoe, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berries can have the same effect. Keep plants such as these out of your child’s reach and make certain berries and leaves will not fall onto the floor where the child can get them.

2) Do Not Leave Children Near Open Fires

Nothing sets the atmosphere in the winter months like a fire in the fireplace or candles lit upon the hearth. But this cozy environment is also a grave danger to kids. Never leave a child unsupervised near an open flame, and make sure that they are not able to throw toys or other objects into the fire or toward the candles. Consider foregoing this particular tradition if children are very young.

3) Proof Your Christmas Tree

Although Christmas tree fires are not very common, when they occur they are often very serious. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that one of every 31 Christmas tree fires results in death. Keep the tree away from heat sources by purchasing an appropriate tree for available space and avoid overloading power strips. Christmas lights should be turned off when parents go to bed and when they leave the home. Artificial trees are safer than real ones as wood is more likely to burn, especially as it dries out. For those using real trees, trim off dry, dead branches and utilize a stand with a water tank sufficient to keep the tree moist throughout the holiday season. Additionally, parents should ensure that any ornaments made of easily breakable materials such as glass or ceramic are kept high on the Christmas tree, or simply stored away for the future. The same goes for ornaments with potential choking hazards.

4) Use Caution Outside

Special caution should be shown for children on snow, sleet, and ice.  Hold your child’s hand or carry little ones across icy driveways and be on the lookout for falling icicles, which can accumulate high overhead on rooftops or tree branches. Make sure children who are playing outside in the snow are properly dressed for the activity.  Dress children in layers with a heavy duty water resistant winter coat. Gloves or mittens, hats, scarves, snow boots, and other cold weather accessories should be used in abundance. Take breaks to warm up every 30-45 minutes and change or dry out accessories that have gotten wet. Download your free home disaster planning eBook
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