Cheerful gatherings of family and friends in homes across the world mark the holiday season. It can be the most wonderful time of the year but also very dangerous especially for young children. Taking a few precautionary steps to child-proof your home will help to ensure peace of mind and allow joyous memories to continue to cultivate for many years to come.
Unstable furniture can pose a very serious risk to not only children but adults and pets as well. Removal of such items or securing them safely to prevent potential disaster will help to ease the stress and anxiety of holiday gatherings. Television sets should be placed on furniture specifically designated to handle the weight. If mounted on a wall unit make certain it is properly secured. Such items should be kept out of the reach of young children.
Fireplaces and Heaters
Fireplaces and heaters pose a serious burn risk. They should be properly contained and blocked off from the reach of young children and pets to prevent potential tragedy from striking. Keep matches and fireplace tools out of reach of children as well.
Outfitting your fireplace with a heat resistant glass is a way to prevent unfortunate burn injuries. It is suggested that you also purchase and use a gate to be placed around the front of the fireplace or heater to close off access as an additional precaution. Children tend to be very hands on and are unaware of the dangers these structures pose.
Candles and Decorations
Candles are popular decorative items that tend to add a festive ambiance during the holiday season. But accidental burns and fire are a real concern when they are within the grasp of children. Consider investing in flameless candles for those areas frequented by children and pets. Other candles should be placed within structures specifically designed to contain the melting wax and flame.
Decorations that can pose a potential choking hazard either through ingestion or becoming wrapped around the neck should be removed from children’s grasp. Breakable items and those with sharp protrusions should also be placed out of the reach of curious little hands. Children are by nature inquisitive and this fact must be taken into consideration when decorating your home for social gatherings that children will be attending during the holidays.
Cabinets, Doors, and Windows
Consider investing in child-proof locks especially if children frequent your home often. This will keep curious minds away from dangerous chemicals, sharp utensils, and other harmful items. For children that have the ability to open doors consider placing a child-proof lock or gate leading into rooms you wish to limit access.
Windows should have guards or wedges installed to prevent accidental falls or injuries. A special cord stop should be placed on blinds and shades to prevent choking and strangulation hazards. Proper locks on windows that will inhibit access by children are always an excellent precautionary measure. Visit your local home improvement store for further advice regarding these matters.
Pets and Children
For many of us our pets are our children. They are a part of the family and so we include them in our celebrations. Be wary of your pet’s behavior. Sometimes it can become a bit overwhelming and children often times cannot distinguish the difference between a pet that wants to play and one that wants to be left alone. Prepare a safe haven away from the reach of children for pets to escape when it becomes necessary.
Keep all electrical cords out of reach of children. Open, unused electrical sockets should be covered with a protective covering to prevent curious fingers from receiving a nasty shock or worse. If possible opt away from those coverings that can be pulled out for they have the potential to become a choking hazard. Self-sliding outlet covers provide optimal protection by closing when the outlet is not in use. Cords should be securely taped down or placed within protective plastic tubing to avoid potential mishaps.
Candy and sugar consumption during the holidays is a big concern. Be wary of candies that may serve as a potential choking hazard. Too much candy or sugary sweets will produce a sick child. This is a scenario parents will want to avoid at all costs. Moderation is paramount in preventing this unfortunate occurrence.
One of the best methods by which to prevent accidents and mishaps from ruining your holiday social gatherings is to designate one or two people to watch over young children while others are making the holiday meal preparations. Taking a few precautionary steps to help ensure a safe and happy holiday season for all is well worth the effort. Season’s greetings to all!