Now that the holidays are upon us, many of us will have little visitors in our homes that may not be around on a regular basis. Or perhaps we have kids in the house, but the holidays present a new set of challenges with all the decor and additional activities that don’t typically occur throughout the year. Keeping kids safe should be everyone's priority, but sometimes we just aren’t aware of what could potentially be in their sight and reach.
So if you have children living in your home, or visiting for the holidays, here are 10 areas to keep on your radar screen. The holidays should be a time of joy and laughter, and nobody wants to spend their Christmas vacation in the ER. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
10 Holiday watch outs to keep in mind around children and pets
1. Toxic PlantsMistletoe, holly, poinsettias, Jerusalem cherry plants are commonly used for holiday decorating and all can be considered potentially poisonous. They should be kept out of reach of small children and pets. Remember to wash your hands after handling these plants.
2. Head InjuriesHead injuries are just as common in the winter as they are in the summer. Accidents during winter sports such as sledding, skating, tubing and skiing can sometimes result in head trauma. Nearly 30% of all sledding related injuries are head injuries. It doesn’t take a major accident to cause severe head trauma, even small spills can result in potentially deadly head injuries. Making sure kids are ALWAYS wearing helmets when participating in outdoor winter activities can actually save their lives.
3. Trips and FallsStairs and steps need to be constantly protected from children who are just learning to walk. Baby gates (like the one I built below) are the most reliable way of keeping kids off the stairs. If you have children visiting temporarily, they make non-permanent options that work as well.
4. Laundry Room Safety:
Here are more tips on how to create a child-safe laundry room.
5. Choking Hazards:Many common holiday decor items can become a choking risk when they’re in reach of small children. Ornaments, small toys, tinsel, beads, buttons and light bulbs should be kept out of reach at all times. Use only large non-breakable ornaments on the reachable areas of your tree and make sure all toys are age appropriate.
6. Fire safetyCandles, fireplaces and stovetops are all burn hazards for both children and adults. Fires and candles should never be left unattended. The use of candle alternatives in decorating is also becoming more common. “Artificial candles” have become more and more realistic thanks to LED technology and a great alternative if it is possible that children could come into contact with them.
8. Electrocution hazards:With all the extra lights that come out during the holidays, you need to be extra aware of possible electrocution hazards around kids and pets. Frayed cords and unprotected outlets are common areas of concern. Be careful not to overload circuits and to use appropriate indoor and outdoor rated extension cords and lights. Teach kids never to play with lightbulbs or cords and immediately discard any cords which may be damaged.
9. Lead and Heavy Metals
10. Laceration risksThe use of sharp objects such as scissors and box cutters is more common during the holidays as we spend time wrapping gifts and opening packages. Remember to put all cutting implements up and away from kids. Broken glass ornaments and figurines can also pose a laceration risk.
This season, Pledge to keep your home and laundry room safe by taking ACI’s KEY Pledge! You’ll be entered to win a $2,500 gift card* for a laundry room makeover!
This post was written in conjunction with ACI and I was compensated for my time and materials. The project idea and post is my own. *NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends on December 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Open to legal residents of 50 U.S. and DC, 21 and older. Void where prohibited. For Official Rules, go to http://www.keypledge.com/Keypledge/TermsConditions.html