5 Holiday Hazards for Little Ones
With new little movers around this holiday season, things that you normally wouldn't think to worry about can become real dangers for your itty bittys. Here are 5 things to keep a lookout for!
1. Alcohol and Medicine
Holiday “spirits” can often be brightly colored, served in pretty glasses, and garnished with a sugary treat! What little darling wouldn't want some to drink? Make sure that when alcohol is being served in the company of children it is understood which drinks are for the adults and which drinks are for the children. My children know if they want something to drink they need to ask mom or dad to get something for them. Holiday cheer can quickly turn to holiday fear, if you end up in the ER with a small child who has ingested something they shouldn't have.
When grandma, grandpa, or another visitor comes in town for the holidays he or she may bring a host of things that your little one may think are fun to get into. (I’m pretty sure I have a picture of my daughter inside a suitcase.) One thing you want to be especially sure that your toddler is not getting into is medication. If a guest is bringing medications with them, let them know where a safe place to store them is, to be sure your little ones can’t reach them.
2. Christmas Tree Mold
Nothing says Christmas like the piney scent of a freshly cut Christmas tree. But this Christmas, a water mold called phytophtora, which flourishes because of heavy rain, is abundant among common Christmas tree varieties. While growers are weeding out and losing much of their crop because of this, some mold species may live on your tree. If you find yourself sneezing or otherwise reacting upon the arrival of your Christmas tree, you could be reacting to mold spore counts. This can be avoided by simply opting for a faux tree. If Christmas just isn't Christmas without a real tree, you can prevent allergic reactions by hosing your tree down, spraying it with a mold-resistant sealant, and allowing it to dry fully before bringing it inside.
Once my children arrived on our Christmas scene it really changed the way we decorated for the holiday. Ornaments and any other breakable decor were moved up and out of reach, or were just left in the box altogether. While fragile and breakable ornaments pose a threat for an obvious reason, a less obvious danger – at least to me, was the dangling enticement that caused my 15 month old to attempt to climb on anything she could to reach the ornament. She pulled hard enough on the tree that, had I not been there to stop her, she may have brought the tree down on top of her. Our solution has been to make sure that our toddler is not in the room alone with the tree, but I’ve also seen those who gate the tree area off to take away the temptation to touch.
4. Outlets and Lights
Part of the magic of the holidays stems from the bright lights and decorations. When I plugged the Christmas tree in for the first time this year, there was an audible “OOoooh!” from the peanut gallery. That night, when I went to unplug the tree as we all were heading to bed, my tech savvy toddler son decided he wasn't quite ready for the lights to be off and promptly headed to plug the tree back in! We had a long talk about fire safety and why we don’t touch outlets (on a 3 year old level). So, be extra vigilant about lighting and décor that requires electricity, and consider their appeal to little hands!
5. Choking Hazards
Pine needles, ribbon, and tinsel OH MY! All these little things that get scattered about so easily during the holiday season can present major choking hazards for the crawling population! Be extra vigilant about vacuuming around the tree and cleaning up after present wrapping or opening.
Keeping these holiday hazards in mind and being prepared for any circumstance where these factors are in play can bring you a happy and peaceful holiday season … well, family drama aside of course!
What did you have to change about your Christmas traditions once your little one came on the scene? Anything that was unforeseen?