Christmas time is a busy one for families, and as a result babies and children are often more susceptible to injuries at this time of year. However, parents can take simple steps to ensure the safety of their children to avoid preventable and often highly distressing accidents.
Even though Christmas can be a fabulous time for children and families, it can also be quickly ruined if simple safety measures are not put in place in the beginning.
Christmas tree decorations
The Christmas tree is often a focal point of decorations. Unfortunately it can also prove to be a magnet for crawling babies or very young toddlers. To keep your child at a safe distance from the tree and the decorations, just put the tree inside a playpen so that it is separated from the rest of the room and access by crawlers and toddlers is prevented. Of course you could also put the tree up in a room where you can lock the door.
When it comes to decorating your Christmas tree, it is wise to be cautious about the decorations you choose, particularly the ones that may be within reach of curious hands. If you have glass baubles consider leaving them packed away for a few more years, or hang them high up on the tree out of reach. When hanging your decorations, use clothes pegs (or green coloured pipe cleaners) to secure them on the branches more firmly.
Parents should be aware that the primary risks associated with Christmas decorations for very young children are choking, cutting or piercing. They can choke on small parts they put in their mouths, and cutting or piercing injuries happen when items are either too sharp or break. Choose your decorations with great care in the early years and if possible, avoid using hazardous objects altogether, unless you know your child will be unable to reach them.
Babies and small children are naturally drawn to highly colourful and beautifully decorated Christmas objects. Their natural instinct is usually to place these objects in their mouths – that’s how they learn – but in this case it can be dangerous.
Decorations that are lower down the tree therefore should not pose a choking hazard and not break or shatter easily.
Lights and cables are often in plentiful use over the Christmas period. To ensure your child is kept safe, you should make sure all connections are working well and try to keep plugs and sockets well out of reach and covered up by safety switches. If you are using candles, you should supervise your child at all times when they are lit and immediately extinguish them when you have finished using them, or are leaving the room. Never leave a child of any age alone with burning candles – or with the means to light them.
There are strict regulations regarding toy safety but you should still check when choosing gifts for your child, to ensure your child falls within the recommended age brackets. Otherwise they can end up having toys with small parts that are both unsuitable and potentially dangerous for them at that particular age.
Be safe and enjoy the festivities!
At this busy time of year, a lot of objects can prove hazardous for young children. At a time where the happiness of our children is paramount, it is also important to take the time to ensure your child’s safety.