A Safe Holiday is a Fun Holiday — Child-Proofing for Holiday Gatherings

As you get ready to enjoy family and friends for the holidays, it is important to keep child safety in mind. Whether you are the one hosting the gathering or the one bringing small children to the party, work together to ensure that the surroundings are ready for the little ones. Doing so will help you avoid unfortunate accidents because no one wants to spend precious holiday time at the emergency room.

  • Candles should be kept out of reach of children and never left burning in a room that children may be unattended in. For the best safety, try flameless LED candles.
  • Burning fireplaces (gas or wood) should be safely covered and children should kept at a safe distance to avoid burns.  A fireplace should never be left burning without close and constant adult supervision.
  • Small children should be kept out of the kitchen, but because they sometimes move faster than we do, be sure that knives are kept away from the edge of the counters and that handles of pans on the stove are turned inward.
  • Be mindful of small toys and other choking hazards, especially when older children are opening gifts. (HINT: If an item can fit into a toilet paper roll tube, it is a choking hazard.)
  • Fragile items that may break when curious hands are exploring should be safely put out of reach or stored away when little ones arevisiting. (This includes glass ornaments that a child could break and cutthemselves on.)
  • Poisonous items such as cleaning products, pest traps, medications, etc. should be safely stored away and inaccessible to youngsters.
  • Staircases should be blocked off and small children shouldbe carefully supervised near them.
  • Pets that are not used to children can be easily agitated bythem and may respond by biting or scratching. Always supervise young childrenaround pets. Make sure that pets can get away if they need a break and if theyaren’t used to children, consider allowing them to play at a pet daycare forthe day.
  • If children will be napping in a room by themselves, make sure that window coverings are cordless or securely out of reach, dressers are secured to the wall so that they will not topple over, cribs meet currentsafety guidelines, and no other potential hazards are accessible to a childthat may climb out of their crib or bed.
  • Rooms that have not been childproofed and are not safe for small children to explore should be kept closed and inaccessible.

Of course, the best way to ensure your child’s safety is to supervise them at all times. Especially busy babies and curious toddlers. Consider bringing toys from home that will keep them safely entertained. Remind your child of the rules when they’re in someone else’s home. Enlist the help of other family members or friends so that there are always at least one set of eyes watching the children. If everyone keeps safety in mind, you will have a safe and fun holiday gathering!

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