The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. Many people choose to decorate their homes, fill their homes with baked goodies, and exchange gifts. Some of these activities can expose you to additional hazards unique to the holiday season. To keep your home safe and worry-free for the holidays, ensure you consider some of these safety tips.
Christmas Trees and Decorations
If you have a tree in your house:
- Keep it in a low-traffic area, out of the way main pathways and exits.
- Make sure it is safely fastened in a holder. Secure it to the surrounding walls with string or wire if possible.
- Keep all decorations out of reach from tiny hands. Young children are often tempted to touch and play with decorations which can be a choking hazard, breakable or both.
If your tree is real:
- Make sure you keep it watered and check it daily. A dry tree can become a significant fire hazard.
- Only use lights which have the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) seal of approval, and replace burnt-out lights with new ones. Empty light sockets can be an electrical shock hazard.
Open Flames and Flammable Materials
Keep a close eye on candles and never leave a child alone in a room with an open flame of any kind. Some decorative ‘snow sprays’ may contain flammable accelerants and should only be used with adult supervision.
Fire extinguishers for the home can make a terrific holiday gift! Choose only CSA approved extinguishers and keep them in visible places. Make sure your family members know where they are located and how to use them.
Food and Beverages
Many holiday treats may contain nuts, popcorn, or candies which can be an allergy concern or choking hazard for young guests. Keep treats out of reach and make sure adult family and guests are aware of any special dietary requirements of those in your home.
Alcohol poisoning is a common risk for young children. Make sure to remove all empty and partially empty beverage containers as soon as possible. Do not leave alcohol within the reach of young children.
Safety with Toys
As fun as toys can be, there are certain precautions you can take to make sure little ones are safe.
- Toys left on the floor can create a tripping hazard, so store them away when not in use.
- Only give children toys which are suitable to their age, ability, and skill level. Advanced toys may present safety hazards to young children.
- Make sure electronic toys have the CSA seal of approval, and do not leave small batteries within reach.
Wrapping, Bows and Packaging
Packaging often becomes a terrific toy for young children, therefore it’s important to make sure it’s safe for kids.
- Removing cardboard or plastic sharp edges, staples, and plastic wrapping can eliminate some common hazards.
- Clear away ribbons and bows to prevent chocking or strangulation hazards.
Have a safe and happy holiday season.