Ideas to Keep Holidays Safe for Younger Kids
The holidays are a magical and joyous time for everyone and especially for younger kids. Their wide eyes take in all the colorful decorations and the music. Its enticing to any young one to want to reach out and touch the glitzy colorful Christmas décor. So much tinsel, glass ornaments, twinkling lights, its overload for a young child. Of course, they want to touch the decorations and play with each ornament. Maybe even try to sample it. The holidays bring about a whole new level of dangers for babies and toddlers, so parents beware.
Before decorating, or even after you decorate take a moment to get down on your child’s level and see what they see. Look around at their eye level and the temptations will loom out in full techni-color. Start by checking the outlets. The holidays bring about a plethora of colorful lights and displays all of which need plugged into an outlet somewhere. Children follow those cords and the outlet provides a new curiosity. Children can play with these cords and may be shocked. Cords and outlets also leads them to want to put things into the outlets, like anything metal (bobby pins, knives, forks, any piece small enough to stick into the outlet.) The aftermath of this is a child with a burn on their hand or worse, electrocution. Protect outlets by hiding them behind furniture, or place a protective cover box that hides the entire outlet and the plugs.
Let’s talk about the tree for a second. If you have one sitting on the floor, there’s no way to keep a baby or toddler from wanting to be near it, to touch everything, and perhaps to sample what’s hanging from it. You have three choices with the Christmas tree. First choice, keep a watchful eye on your child always. You cannot turn your back to the choking hazards, to the electrocution hazard, and to the hazard of the tree toppling over onto the child. If you think you can keep an eye on your child all the time, then do that.
Second choice is to gate off the tree. You can put safety gates up that will keep the child from reaching the tree. Either put the tree in a room that the child won’t enter, or “fence” off the tree if it’s in a room with the child.
Third choice is to decorate with a tree that’s smaller and placed in a higher location, such as on a table or a shelf. When my children were younger we chose this option, often putting the tree on the buffet table so it was permanently out of reach from the little ones.
Gifts are another tempting item for a baby or toddler. If you have wrapped gifts low, the child will be curious. Unless you want the gift unwrapped before Christmas you are better to keep the gifts up high and out of reach. Or do what we did and set the gifts out on Christmas morning or the night before. This worked perfectly with the belief in Santa Claus because the gifts would magically appear on Christmas morning.
Holiday cooking is so delicious, what kids wouldn’t want to taste all the goodies being offered. Be careful of ingredients if your child has any food allergies. Many Christmas delectables may contain food allergens such as peanuts, eggs, wheat, or any other allergic ingredient. If your child suffers from food allergies always inquire what’s in the holiday treats before passing one to your child.
Making the home safe for baby/toddler during the holidays is one thing, keep in mind when you visit other people, the safety issues. This goes for people’s homes, churches, shops, and even public buildings. Just be aware of your surroundings and try to see the world through your child’s eyes and keep your child safe through the holidays.