Dangers lurk when families deck the halls with lights, tinsel and holly. For instance, while lighting can do wonders to set a holiday mood – and not just in terms of using hundreds of strands of sparkling, blinking or “chasing” lights along rooftops and around trees – it can also create hazards. However, the following tips will help to make Christmas celebrations safer for small children.
Bright Ideas for Using Electricity Lights and Candles Safely
When it comes to the more common strands of electric lights, the American Safety and Health Institute cautions decorators to use indoor Christmas lights indoors and outdoor Christmas lights outdoors. In addition, don’t run strands of lights under carpeting or space heaters, and make sure the cords aren’t pinched by furniture, which can lead to sparks – or a fire.
It isn’t necessary to go overboard with lighting to achieve a pleasant effect, and candles cast a glow that electric lights don’t. Families can also use candles to set a mood, both through soft lighting and holiday scents. Vanilla fragrances, cinnamon-infused potpourri and clove-scents all help to create a cozy, relaxed feeling, but remember to use a candleholder as a safety measure when decorating with candles.
Regardless, parents should never leave lighted candles or burning fireplaces unattended. Be sure to turn off tree lights or blow out burning candles before going to bed, and do not place candles near draperies or anything that might easily catch fire.
Child Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
The celebrations for the festive season, travel and new toys make the holidays an exciting time for children. Parents want to give their children the best of everything and are busy planning fantastic celebrations, holiday travel and new and unusual toys to keep the children occupied.
In all this hustle and bustle parents should not forget the simple safety aspects of the children.
New Toys or Games for Christmas
When buying toys and games parents should always stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the suitability of the toy for the age of the child. The age recommendation relates to the suitability and safety of the toy for a specific age group, not the ability of the child to master the toy or game.
For instance, a toy that says “not suitable for children under 3 years” does not mean that a three-year-old cannot play with the toy. It just means that there are small parts of the toy that can come apart and might cause a health hazard to the child.
Traveling in the Car With Small Children
Small children should always be restrained in an appropriate child car seat or seat belt when traveling in a car. Even if the journey is very short – just around the corner to the shops – young children should always be properly restrained There are various types of car restraints that are recommended for the weight and age of the child. When choosing the car seat the weight of the child is more important than the age.
If the parents have to leave the car even for a very short period, for instance to run a quick errand, the children should not be left in the car on their own. It is always safer to take the children along.
Safety of Children Around Water
Children should always be supervised when near water, especially children under five who are attracted to water but do not understand the risks involved. In the hot summer months of the southern hemisphere parents should always be vigilant of the children at the beach or near swimming pools. It is a good idea to start giving children swimming lessons from a very young age.
Children at Festive Celebrations and Parties
If the children are involved in family festive gatherings and other parties, the parents should be particularly vigilant. In the fun atmosphere of the celebrations, it is possible to momentarily lose track of what the children are doing.
Whatever activities the parents are involved in this holiday season, bearing in mind the simple safety aspects of young children will help to have a fun, peaceful and memorable holiday. Parents can choose age-appropriate toys and games, use car seats when traveling with young kids and be extra careful when children are near water.