Follow these holiday safety tips to keep your grandchildren safe.
Nothing is more exciting than having a little one in the house during the holiday season! Thanks to my siblings being spread out in age, and subsequently our children and grandchildren being spaced out as well, we’ve never had a Christmas without a visit from Santa Claus!
There’s something just magical about a small child’s joy at this time of year.
Just be aware that the holidays hold more than magic: there are also many hazards that we need to minimize. Here are holiday safety tips to protect your grandchildren from some of those hazards.
Christmas Trees: While you may not need to fence off the tree entirely, you do need to keep small and breakable ornaments out of a child’s reach. Make sure you use a sturdy stand that can’t be tipped over. If you have a real tree, keep it well watered to minimize fire risk. Unplug tree lights at night and when you leave the house.
Fire: Flames are enticing to small children and burns happen fast. Keep candles and matches out of reach, and gate off the fireplace or watch that baby like a hawk. Never leave a child alone in a room with an open flame.
Plants: While it’s a myth that poinsettias are poisonous , other holiday plants, like mistletoe, holly, and Jerusalem cherry are a danger to exploring babies and toddlers. Keep plants out of reach.
Choking hazards: The holiday home is usually filled with choking hazards. Anything that can fit through a toilet paper tube can cause a child to choke. Be vigilant about small toys, decorations, button batteries, nuts, popcorn, hard candies, etc.
Button Batteries: Button batteries are not just a choking hazard. If swallowed, these round, flat batteries can be fatal.
Alcohol: Family gatherings often result in glasses of sweet tasting alcohol being left where a child can sample them. Remind adults to keep track of their drinks, and quickly clean up leftovers.
Safety gear: If you are giving your grandchild a new bike, skates or scooter, make sure you provide safety gear.
Toys: Make sure toys are age appropriate: those suggested ages are often for safety reasons. Check for loose parts and choking hazards, and make sure any battery compartments can only be opened with a screwdriver.
Kitchen: A busy kitchen is never safe for small children, but during the holidays, cooks can be extra distracted. Make sure pot handles are turned away from the front of the stove and sharp knives aren’t left at the edge of the counter. Better yet, declare the cooking zone off-limits to kids and find a way to engage them in another room.
Covid-19: Children younger than five years still can’t be vaccinated, so it’s up to the adults in their lives to protect them from illness. My extended family includes three children in that group, including a newborn; we’ve pledged to all get our boosters, plus get tested before we gather. Discuss holiday safety and Covid protocols with your family so everyone is prepared.
Holiday gatherings are chaotic enough without worrying about a child being injured. Follow these holiday safety tips to keep your grandchildren safe!
For more important information about keeping your grandchild safe through the year, click here.