Our home has nothing inside that we would like to protect and keep safer more than our children. With November being Child Safety Protection Month, we’d like to share ways you can help guard your little ones from potential dangers, through the holiday season and year round.
With all the ways to keep the holidays merry and bright, here are a few things to consider:
Lights. Weather on the tree, on your home or in a window, decorative lights are a part of the hliday season. Here are ways to make them beautiful and safe:
- Inspect your holiday lights. Not only do you want to be sure each bulb is working to shine bright, you want also to ensure there are no frayed wires.
- Check the heat of the bulbs. If they tend to get too hot, it’s best not to keep them on too long, use them on your tree or have them in reach of your children.
- Whether interior, exterior or on the tree, lights often start low to the ground. Be sure there are enough obstacles and supervision to keep a small child from grabbing a string of lights and bringing down the tree or encountering an electrical socket.
Candles. Pumpkin Spice, Golden Chestnut, Peppermint Bark… The holidays bring candle scents that can fill a home with warmth and comfort. They also can introduce dangers for our children. These steps can help prevent
- Burning or not, keep candles out of reach of children.
- Likewise, store matches used to light the candles safely away from children.
- Move flammable items at least 12 inches away from a burning candle.
- Parents should never fall asleep, even a post-meal nap, with a candle burning.
Fireplace. The colder weather is the perfect time to light up the fireplace. It’s a wonderful seasonal bonus, but most fireplaces are within reach our little ones. To make this area as safe as possible, follow these tips:
- Use only a match or a commercial firelight to start the fire, avoiding the use of flammable liquids. Once the fire has started, safely store these items far out of reach.
- If there are glass doors to fireplace, those should remain open while the fire is going so that enough oxygen can be provided. However, you’ll want to have a metal screen of some sort to provide a barrier between the fire and your children.
- Don’t leave a fire unattended, especially with children around. In addition to a burn hazard, items can be tossed into the fire that can cause it to spread.
- As with a candle, napping or falling asleep with a fire burning can cause a nightmare. Be sure all flames are extinguished prior to venturing off to dreamland.
- Speaking of extinguishing, be sure the fire is entirely out before leaving the house or going to bed. This includes the heat from the coals and ashes has cooled. Sometimes kids like to get up in the middle of the night to see if they can sneak another piece of pumpkin pie or catch Santa.
Other important steps to take around the house include:
Greenery. Typically during the holidays, families bring in a Christmas tree and poinsettias to decorate their home. If you have toddlers who like to taste almost any and every thing, be sure these are out of reach or behind obstacles that can prevent sickness.
Presents. Be sure gifts are not wrapped with so much ribbon that could cause a strangulation hazard or with tags or other items that could result in choking.
Covers. Use electrical outlet covers and doorknob covers to prevent your children from finding dangerous spots. Safety gates also keep wondering children out of precarious situations like pools and stairs.
Welcome Mat. Place a welcome mat outside entrances to your home. Whatever the season, your shoes can track in a number of unknown substances that crawling children can easily get on their hands and knees.
Child Safety Protection Month is a great time to review your home and make sure that it’s ready for the holiday season and the year to come. Taking these precautionary steps can let everyone rest better knowing your home is safe for your younger family members!