Holiday décor can be a minefield when it comes to a baby’s safety. There’s the obvious, like tinsel and tree ornaments, but there’s also other dangers you might have not even considered. TheBump’s Lori Richmond highlights the hidden décor dangers to watch out for, and even if you don’t have a little one, with all the extended family and friends visiting for the holidays, it’s important to baby proof your home.
Here are the décor dangers to avoid, plus additional hazards not mentioned in today’s episode.
Is your home baby proofed? Once you run through our list below, we can assure you you’ll have the tools you need to make sure your home is hazard free and ready for the holiday season!
Purses and Shopping Bags
Don’t forget that your visitors can bring hazards into your house. Visitor’s handbags and shopping bags are tempting for babies and haven’t been childproofed. Stow guest’s bags in a safe place (like in an extra bedroom and close the door shut) to keep your child away from medicines, lipstick, ribbons, gift tags, and other dangerous items commonly found inside.
You make think that stockings can’t be of any harm because they sit high up on a mantel, but those heavy metal holders are actually a huge hazard! If the mantel is low where toddlers can reach them, they can easily pull the hanging stocking, knock the holder off the mantle and risk getting hit by the heavy metal. Instead, use plastic sticky fasteners to hold up the stockings instead, or apply a piece of Velcro to the back of the stocking and underneath your mantle for easy fastening. Another alternative is to hang the stocking on the doorknob of the child's room.
Typical party snacks like peanuts and popcorn – anything small - are all potential choking hazards and shouldn’t be given to children under age four or left out where they can be grabbed. To prevent this hazard, create a kid-friendly holiday snacking station as a safe distraction and to reduce temptation for the adult stuff.
This one may seem obvious, but it’s a very important reminder. Candles are an obvious danger when it comes to being around kids, so remember to keep them in high places where they can’t be reached. To completely play it safe, use flameless candles instead. For the menorah, instead of using one with real candles, use an electric one with lights that turn on, or create a felt Menorah with your kids that hangs on the wall. Then each night of Hanukkah, the kids can “light” each candle by adding a felt flame to the hanging art.
Christmas Tree or Hanukkah Bush
Needles are a danger. If you’re thinking about getting a real tree for the holidays, be wary that the needles can cause painful cuts in the mouth and throat of a child. Make sure your tree is secured in a sturdy stand so it doesn’t tip or get knocked over. If your baby is mobile, cordon off the Christmas tree area too. You can even put a baby play-yard around the tree so that baby can enjoy looking at the tree, but that’s it.
Lead may be lurking in unexpected places like on tree lights, artificial tress, and vintage decorations like tinsel and garland. Tree lights are coated with lead-filled plastic, and the amount varies, so it’s best to be safe and keep your baby away from the lights. Also, an old artificial tree that was made in China may contain unsafe levels of lead and give off dust that can spread, so stick to a real tree if you can.
Mistletoe, Holly, Poinsettias & Jerusalem Cherry Plants
Like many plants, mistletoe, holly, and Jerusalem cherries are potentially poisonous. Plant poisoning symptoms may include rashes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you can, avoid these plants entirely, but if you insist on having them, keep them out of the reach of children by keeping them high off the ground. An alternative would be to purchase a fake plant - there’s lots of gorgeous artificial plants that look just like the real thing.
Wrapping Paper, Bags, Ribbons & Bows
Wrapping paper, bags, ribbons and bows all pose suffocation and choking hazards. After you’re done gift wrapping, store all the paper, bows and scissors away (one idea is to organize the wrapping items in plastic containers or drawers for easy storing until next season). Then, when kids open the gifts, supervise them!
Tree Ornaments, Light Bulbs, Icicles & Tinsel
Another potential choking hazard!
Use this rule of thumb - if it’s small enough to fit in the mouths of
babies and toddlers—it’s too small to put up on the tree. If you must though, keep small ornaments and
décor higher up on the tree so baby can’t reach them. Another tip - make sure
to decorate with flame-resistant or non-combustible materials. Avoid
decorations that are sharp, breakable or have small removable parts.
In this episode Allison's Wardrobe is provided by:
Shirt, A Pea In The Pod
Jeans, Loved by Heidi Klum
Bracelets, Jennifer Fisher Jewelry - http://jenniferfisherjewelry.com
Earrings, By Boe - https://www.byboe.com
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