To get the most out of this happy season, you’ll want to create a safe and festive environment. Here are some holiday safety tips for kids to get you started.
Holiday Safety for Kids: How to Childproof Your Holiday Decorating
In addition to hanging breakables out of reach of curious hands, holiday decorating is all about getting the kids involved. Here are a few ideas on safely decorating while allowing small children to express their inner elf.
Set up a snowflake crafting station
Have a helper work with the youngsters to create snowflakes with folded paper and a pair of child-safe scissors. Afterwards, let the kids tape up their creations around the party space.
Deck the halls up high
Having little ones in the house is no reason to tone down the decorations — in fact, just the opposite! Kid’s love the glitz and glam of the holidays. So, hang the stockings, string the garland and switch on the lights! Just be sure to keep the decorations up high and out of reach.
Enlist your little helpers
Help your kids feel included by letting them embrace the hustle and bustle. Make decorating a family event and have them lend a hand while you bake the goodies. They’ll love picking out wrapping paper and signing the family holiday cards, too!
Don’t use harmful plants
Make child safety during the holidays a priority by going with safe decorative plants this year. Mistletoe can be fun, but it’s dangerous if ingested. With craft stores selling very believable plastic alternatives, you’ve got options. The same goes for holly berries and other toxic holiday plants — pick up plastic replicas and keep those kiddos safe.
Ways to Prevent Fires This Holiday Season
Although it may be tempting to have a few scented candles burning to help spice up the ambiance, open flames can be a fire hazard around unsupervised youngsters. But there’s more to fire prevention than keeping candles, matches and lighters out of reach:
Water the tree and pick up fallen needles frequently
Your live tree can dry out and pose a fire risk. Be sure to set a reminder in your phone for a daily watering. A great rule of thumb is to routinely clean up tree needles or fallen decorations so they stay out of the kids’ hands. It’s safer to keep things tidy, too!
Trim the tree with care
Be sure to decorate with the young kids in mind. Skip the tinsel and trimmings that can look like candy and opt for larger, non-breakable ornaments. Worried about it tipping over? You can always tie the tree to a nearby railing for a more play-friendly zone. And you can always go with an artificial tree to help keep your home safer.
Place fire extinguishers in highly visible areas
Good fire extinguisher etiquette never goes out of style. Be sure that your fire extinguishers have been inspected and are fully charged and ready for use. Take a few moments to revisit their placement and move them to a more readily available place if possible.
Test smoke and fire alarm systems and replace batteries
Before the festivities begin, quickly check in on your smoke alarms around the house and verify that they’re operating properly. Swap out batteries as necessary.
Revisit your babyproofing
Explore your home from the perspective of your child. Be sure all unused outlets have outlet protectors in place, and look for loose connections or frayed wiring between light strings to prevent sparking. Don’t hesitate to replace anything that poses a potential danger to your family or home.
Mindful Shopping for Holiday Gifts
The kids will always want the latest tech and toys, but little tykes will do better with some fine-tuned gifts that are safe for their age. Here are a few tips when you’re out and about shopping for tots:
Seek out child-safe toys
Avoid toys where batteries or buttons can easily be pulled out. When it comes to child safety, holidays can be a challenging time to be a kid. Used toys and hand-me-downs may be an option, but they’re going to require close inspection.
Look at warning labels on gifts
Instructions and other written details can help you understand if a toy’s too complicated or dangerous for your child. Be on the lookout for potential choking hazards and review minimum ages for toys when shopping.
Group kids by their age at play time
By herding the kids into like age groups, you can better manage the toys they’re allowed to play with and that can help to keep everyone safe.
Learn about toy recall details online
Holiday safety for kids is all about learning online and making informed decisions before you purchase. While shopping for gifts, be sure to do a quick query online and see if there are any open recalls on each toy or game you’re considering. You may learn that an otherwise safe toy has a flaw and should be avoided. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a great resource to help parents make smart choices when purchasing toys for their kids.
How to Keep Kids Safe in the Holiday Kitchen
The holidays are all about family, good food and making memories. Keep the kids in mind around the stove and work carefully to have them help with holiday food when it’s safe. Here are a few other thoughts on protecting your little ones when preparing the holiday feast.
Avoid burns by creating a hot spot perimeter
Tell kids that they’re not allowed any closer than 3 feet to any heat source in the kitchen. They can look, but they’ve got to stay clear. Be sure to stop and talk about fire safety if they venture closer than 12 inches to a heat source. Remember to never leave the room when kids are in the kitchen, or while the stove or oven is on.
Carve out some time for kiddie kitchen hours
Plan on putting aside a little time for the kids to work on treats safely. Let them help before the oven is hot. They can grab ingredients from the fridge and rinse plastic bowls to get you prepped and ready to start baking.
Have the teens assist you in the kitchen
Put the older kids to work by handing off jobs like warming up side dishes in the microwave and setting the table. This is also a great time to get them familiar with how the dishwasher works.
Bring back the kids table
Make your little ones feel special by giving them an exclusive place to dine! Entice them with kid-friendly treats and games, and keep things like nuts, candy and alcoholic beverages out of reach. It’s the perfect way to keep the whole family happy and safe as you celebrate.