While Christmastime might be one of the most magical times of the year to spend with your new child, it can also pose a series of dangers. One of the biggest dangers to your baby is your Christmas tree. From trees tipping over to baubles being broken, here’s how to prevent Christmas tree disasters this season.
You need to secure your Christmas tree the proper way. Make sure that it’s firmly in place and absolutely stable. You don’t want a curious kid to crawl underneath and give it a tug that sends the entire thing toppling. You also don’t want a tree that’s so unsteady that just a passing pull can send it crashing.
It’s a good idea to put your baby-safe Christmas tree in an out-of-the-way corner of your home, outside of where your baby normally plays – especially if they’re walking and crawling.
While decorating your Christmas tree, consider your baby’s height and arm length. Then, put all your breakable ornaments far out of your child’s reach. You don’t want them to pull on a glass orb, just for it to shatter around their feet at the worst moment possible. If you’re particularly worried about this possibility, you may want to consider waiting to put your breakable ornaments on your tree until your child is a bit older.
Ornaments, garlands, and strings of lights that hang down should also be placed out of reach on your tree, so as to keep those items away from curious hands (and possibly mouths). Tinsel is especially a choking hazard, so you may want to open for a less-shiny garland option.
Some parents find that ornaments that make noise —— may actually be a benefit when there’s an infant or toddler in the house, as they’ll alert an adult when any wandering child is making mischief near the tree.
Many Christmas ornaments are hung using metal hooks. However, those often get lost while decorating or over the season, and they can prove to be a choking hazard to your child. Opt to use string or ribbons instead of hooks, at least while your baby is still young enough that they’re putting whatever they can find into their little mouths.
Once your Christmas lights are far enough up your tree that they won’t pose a threat, look at where they’re plugged in. Make sure your child can’t get to that electrical socket. You may want to consider taping down the cords as well, if they follow along a wall or the floor.
Similarly, while it might be tempting to line your furniture with Christmas lights or to sprinkle lights along your windowsills, again, keep in mind what your child could tug and pull on, and how you can best secure all decorations.
Additionally, Christmas is prime time for lighting some candles or a fire in the fireplace. You’ll want to put all candles out of reach of your child, and then install a fireplace guard to keep infants away from the flames, whether you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace.
Christmastime flowers and plants, such as mistletoe and poinsettias, are beautiful additions to any tree, but, if you’re using real plants, just like with breakable baubles, you want to keep them out of reach of your child. Many of these plants are poisonous if ingested.
Fake trees offer a lot of benefits to families, compared to their real counterparts. There are no loose pine needles that can be accidentally eaten, and fake trees aren’t the same fire hazard that real trees pose.
Of course, if you do all of the above and you’re still worried about the possible dangers your Christmas tree poses to your infant, you may want to simply put aaround your Christmas tree or at the entrance of the room where your Christmas tree is located. This will ensure that, no matter what’s on your tree, your child won’t be able to access it.
Make sure that your next holiday season is magical — and accident-free. With a few simple precautions, your family can enjoy a seamless, no-worries holiday.
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