Of course, you want your home to be merry, bright and inviting for all of your holiday guests. Decorations may be part of an important holiday tradition in your family and a way to stay in a festive mood. You want to make sure your decorations are safe all season long to keep your holidays fun and accident-free. Here are some safety tips that are good for the whole season.
- Keep your youngest child in mind. Kids love ornaments, but don’t let older kids rearrange the tree. Make sure shatter-free bulbs stay at the bottom of the tree. Keep glass ones up high. Replace metal ornament hooks with ribbon. Keep small ornaments out of your little one’s reach. Keep ornaments that look like food or candy up high.
- If you have a real tree, maintain it properly. Trim all lower branches that are below your children’s eye-level. Water your tree regularly. Keep your tree more than three feet away from any heat source, like a heating vent, space heater, fireplace, radiator, etc. Remember that real trees always carry some level of fire risk, but that risk can be minimized by keeping your tree watered and away from spark and heat sources.
- Watch out for that tree! Cats especially love the holiday season. Ornaments become toys, and a tree is a tempting thing to climb. Make sure your tree is secured in order to prevent it from being knocked over. Also make sure your pets (and children) are not eating the tree.
- Practice holiday light safety all season long. Keep an eye out for frayed wires, broken sockets, loose connections or other damage. When in doubt, swap your lights out for newer strings, even if it’s the middle of the season. Don’t leave your lit tree unattended. Turn off all of your lights before you go to bed or leave your house. Make sure you don’t overload any extension cords or outlets, and never run cords underneath a rug.
- Stay toasty, but be cautious around the fireplace. If you have a wood burning fireplace, only burn firewood. Don’t toss discarded items such as holiday wrapping paper, tree branches or treated wood into your holiday fire. Keep children away from hot wood burning stoves, fireplace tools and other hazards.
- Keep an eye on your candles. Candles can definitely add ambiance to your holiday festivities, but unattended candles can be a real problem. Don’t burn candles too close to the tree or other holiday decorations. Keep them out of reach of small children, and be sure to put them out before leaving the room. If you want to be cautious, you can even illuminate your home with safe LED candles.
- Stay on the lookout for poisonous plants. Fresh holly, lilies, poinsettias, mistletoe and daffodils make beautiful decorations and gifts, but if you have pets or small children, you may want to stick with silk for the holidays.
- Keep the number for poison control posted. This safety tip can help you year-round, but keep this number handy during the holidays especially. With all the extra activity and exposure to things children wouldn’t normally see, it’s good to play it safe and be prepared.
Keeping the holidays safe all season long can seem like a tremendous amount of work, but it truly can prevent disaster. We at Sparkles! want you to enjoy the holidays to the fullest! If you have questions about holiday safety in the classroom, feel free to contact us.