9 Vacation Safety Risks You Probably Didn’t Think About
When you live with children, especially babies and toddlers, everything is a risk. That’s why we mount cabinets to the walls, put in baby gates, and add child-proof latches on the cabinets, right? But even the most child-proof home is vulnerable to holiday safety risks. The most wonderful times of the year are filled with decorations and items that wouldn’t normally adorn our homes for most of the year, so it’s important that we take inventory of what could create a potential hazard.
Below, we’ve started a list of common pitfalls to avoid during the holidays this year. Read on and let us know on Instagram what you’ll add to the list. Let’s keep ourselves and our children safe this holiday season.
1. Stockings on the scarf
If you hang your stockings from the mantle using heavy or pointy stocking holders (such as Christmas trees, stars, snowflakes, etc.), you may want to find a different way to secure them this year. Young children can sustain serious injuries by pulling the stocking and being hit in the head or eye by the stocking holder, which also collapses.
If you absolutely love your stocking rack decor, try this mom hack: Place cup hooks directly under the sock holders to hang your socks from – it will still look like your socks are hanging from the holders… just safely! Or try these lightweight scarf hooks from Target.
Place inexpensive cup hooks directly under stocking holders on your mantel to hang stockings from – it will still look like your stockings are hanging from the racks…just safely!
These lightweight scarf clips won’t hurt little ones if they can pull the stocking down.
Available in multiple finishes
2. Ornaments on the tree
Don’t worry, we won’t tell you not to put decorations on your tree. Just remember that small jewelry is a choking hazard, and breakable glass or glass is a wound risk. You can find lots of beautiful, non-breakable ornaments for parts of the tree that little hands can (and will) reach.
3. Tall or heavy decor
If children are physically able to touch something and drop it, they will do so. It’s science. Well, it’s not technical science, but it’s true. Children gravitate toward novelty, so if they might fall on a heavy Santa figurine or reindeer figurine, think twice about setting it up this year. The same goes for any new furniture or accent pieces you might bring for the holidays — bookcases, dressers, dressers, dressers — all should be mounted to the wall, even if they’re not in your child’s room.
4. Battery-operated decorations and toys
I love these little battery-operated LED string lights as much as the next girl, so I have to make sure my kids can’t reach these or any other battery-operated decorations or toys. This includes making sure they can’t climb on another piece of furniture or use their footstool as well. Button batteries are particularly risky due to their round shape (choking hazard), but any battery can cause burns to the esophagus within two hours after being swallowed. Close battery compartments that may open if dropped, and store batteries in a safe place away from children.
5. Decorate with artificial berries or other small items
Is your wreath or wreath decorated with small faux berries or other small balls? Items like this can pose choking hazards as a few tend to fall out here and there when you’re going out or packing your decor. Consider choosing simpler decorative items this year or pay attention to any small pieces that may come off and roll away for little hands to find later.
6. Candles and warm fires
Another thing I love during the holidays: winter scented candles and a fire in the fireplace. Keep all sources of fire away from children and also from your tree and other decorations such as wreaths and wreaths. December and January are peak months for house fires, so be sure to check your heater before first use and make sure all smoke alarms are working.
7. Holiday cooking
The kitchen is a busy place during the holidays. It is also the room where house fires are most likely to start. Make sure to keep a close eye on anything being cooked, and set timers so you don’t get caught up in the moment and forget something is in the oven or on the stove. For little ones, make sure all pot handles face inward on the stove so they can’t be pulled down, consider child-proofing your stove handles, and remove all children from the kitchen before opening ovens or moving hot dishes from one surface. etc.
8. New toys and clothes
We’re all about new toys for the holidays, and we just want to make sure those beautifully wrapped gifts are as safe on the inside as they look on the outside. Clothes, like shoes, often come with silica gel packets (you know, those things that look like salt packets), which should not be eaten and pose choking hazards. Try removing these items before wrapping your gifts and watch how the gifts are opened by friends and family. Check new toys for loose parts, small pieces, and batteries to make sure none are within reach of young children.
9. Plastic containers and bags
When you and your kids have fun opening gifts (or while receiving gifts to wrap), be sure to dispose of any plastic packaging or bags immediately so your kids don’t find them later. The holidays can get chaotic, especially while opening presents and tossing aside wrapping paper and bows, so try to watch as closely as possible while your kids and others open their gifts.