Christmas is a fun time for the entire family, and many adults say that Christmas isn’t Christmas without the joy of children being around. There are many magical moments that children love to be involved with, including decorating the Christmas tree, the living area and the home.
Safety is however, just as important at Christmas time, as any other time of the year. It can even be more important during this season, because we are out of our usual routines, there are new objects around and new environments and it is easy to become rushed and distracted.
One of the most important considerations for safety at Christmas, is the safety of the Christmas decorations that we use on our trees and our homes. Decorations can come from many different places, and not all have been checked or specifically designed for the safety of Children.
Christmas decorations can be given as gifts, manufactured in commercial factories, handmade, or passed down from generation to generation. They can be borrowed, stored for long times, and damaged over the years. It is therefore important to check each and every one thoroughly, before the Christmas season starts and they are introduced into the family home.
If you start your Christmas season by bringing out the boxes and scattering them around the house, without thought, it is likely that an accident will happen. Young children can unnecessarily suffer injuries like choking, cuts, bruising, food poisoning and even broken bones, all because of faulty and or dangerous decorations.
There are some simple steps that you and your family can take, to ensure that the Christmas decorations that you use are suitable for young children who may live in your home, or may be visiting you during the Christmas season. Remember, even if you don’t have children of your own, any visiting families with children will still expect you to consider their safety. Children love to interact with decorations, run, jump and play, so be a great host and ensure that your home environment is suitable for them to be in.
Avoid all sharp objects. These can include pine cones, pointy stars and metal objects that have unsealed edges. Children can pick up and play with sharp items and easily cut their fingers. You may also want to avoid glass baubles, and take the option for fake glass instead. If a child drops one of these you may have glass everywhere and a potential disaster on your hands.
Remember that young children can choke on small objects. The best test is to try and place an object inside a traditional film canasta, which is a similar size to a young child’s throat. If your decoration can get lodged inside the canasta, then it could cause harm to a child. Throw or give it away, and choose larger decorations for yourself.
Be careful with Christmas lights. While they can look magical and fantastic, it is important that you follow the instructions on their box, and keep following them year after year. If they become damaged, throw them away and buy a new set. Turn them off and night, and when you leave the house, and teach young children not to touch the electrical cords, the lights themselves, or power points.
Ensure that the Christmas tree is stable, as young children may lean on it, or tug on the branches. If a child does this and the tree isn’t completely stable, then there will be injury when the tree topples over onto the child. Choose a good base and ensure that the tree isn’t too tall.
Remember to supervise young children around Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees. While you will want this to be a peaceful and relaxed time of year, remember that accidents do happen. You will want to ensure that your environment is safe, that your decorations are safe, and that children are directly supervised by adults who love them.