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How To Decorate Safely This Holiday Season

December 6th, 2019

The holiday season is here! - Caroling, hot cocoa, decorations and family time are a few fun things that we look forward to during this season.  Putting up ornaments on the tree, lighting candles (to bring season cheer through our sense of smell) and hanging lights are all wonderful memories of the holidays!  We work hard to create these fun, festive memories for both ourselves and our children.  However, as parents, we also want to make sure that our children’s holiday celebrations are safe. Here are 4 tips for keeping your holiday season just as safe as it is fun.

  1. Christmas Trees - When setting up a live Christmas tree, make sure that it is placed away from fireplaces or portable heaters.  The tree should not block any doorways.  If you go the artificial tree route, make sure that it is labeled “Fire Resistant” before purchasing.  When decorating your tree, only use flame-resistant or non-combustible ornaments, tinsel and garland.  Also, make sure that tinsel is made of plastic or lead-free materials.
  2. Christmas Lights - Before hanging up your Christmas lights, make sure to check them.  Ensure there are no frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.  Additionally, make sure to hang your lights out of the reach of little hands that might put them into their mouths.  When decorating the outside of your home, make sure the lights are certified for outdoor use and hung with hooks (not nails or tacks).  Plug all outdoor lights into grounded circuits. 
  3. General Decorations - Make sure your decorations on the mantle, shelves or tables are not sharp or breakable.  Keep decorations with removable parts out of the reach of children.  They might swallow or inhale the small pieces.  This is especially important if the decorations look like candy or food because young children may try to eat them.  Remember to strategically place all live plant decorations out of your child’s reach also.  These include, but are not limited to, mistletoe berries, poinsettias and holly berries.
  4. Gift Wrapping - After opening your presents on Christmas morning, make sure to throw away or store wrapping paper, bags, ribbons and bows.  Do this before moving on to playing with your children and their gifts. Ribbons, wrapping paper and the like, can pose suffocation and choking risks to small children.  They also can be flammable if they are near your fireplace or Christmas lights. 

We hope these tips are helpful.  May you and your family have a wonderful and safe holiday season! 

Posted by Beacon Health Alliance | Topic: Pediatrics
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