Christmas: Holiday safety tips

Colored lights are magical to a child, especially during the holiday season. Shiny ornaments and sparkling tinsel look good enough to eat. Glowing candles beckon little fingers. And there lies the dazzle that makes the holidays special and the danger those attractive symbolic ornaments and decorations pose to a small child.

Many parents forget to view holiday decorations through their own safety lenses. We are so used to associating happy memories with these items, that they forget to see them through the eyes of a child who cannot resist the temptation to touch, taste or smell. So, even when your child is right under your nose, you can't be too careful. Holiday cheer and friendly conversation can be just enough distraction for your toddler to get into trouble.

We all learn about the world through our senses. Children below the age of three are particularly focused on exploring the world through their sense of touch and taste. Colored electrical lights on Christmas trees have tempted more than one child to touch them - even lick them --- which can land a child in the emergency room. Flames from beautiful menorahs can easily burn tiny, curious fingers. Young children easily perceive shiny glass ornaments as toys, so protect your child from glass objects that could cut or shatter by substituting plastic for a few years.

Make the holidays safe for young children

  • Do not leave children unsupervised around any kind of electrical lighting or open flame.
  • Take an inventory of potential hazards you have in your home after decorating and pay special attention to electrical decorations. Christmas lights hung or strung across a wall or window are no exception. These may be low enough for a small child to grab before you can notice.
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