Though the holiday season brings a lot of joy and brightness, it also introduces new risks and safety hazards that we don’t always think about. Fires in the fireplace, candles, decorations, and strings of lights are all important parts of the season—but not part of our everyday lives. So it’s important to think about how you can prevent accidents and injuries.
- Never leave children unsupervised when you have a fire in the fireplace.
- Keep kids away from gas fireplaces—glass doors can heat up to over 200 °C in just six minutes.
- If you have young kids, a safety gate around the fire can keep them at a safe distance.
- If you have an open fireplace, use a screen to prevent sparks from flying and keep kids away.
- Battery-operated, flameless candles are safer than traditional candles and still cast a warm glow.
- If you do use candles, keep them well beyond the reach of children.
- Light candles only in sturdy holders, and blow them out before leaving the room.
- Choose unbreakable decorations and ornaments in case your young kids mistake them for toys.
- Consider using a safety gate around your tree so your kids can enjoy it, but not touch it.
- Mistletoe and holly are poisonous plants and can cause stomach upset, so keep them out of reach.
- If you have a real tree, keep it watered so it doesn’t dry out, and place it away from radiators and fireplaces.
Holiday light risks
- Strings of lights and extension cords can be tripping hazards, so keep them out of the way to prevent falls.
- Never run cords under carpets or through doorways.
- Make sure holiday lights and electrical cords are in good repair and out of children’s reach.
- Use furniture to physically distance children from electrical components.
Holiday entertaining risks
- Appoint someone to watch the kids at all times, and take turns doing it.
- To prevent choking, don’t leave candy or nut dishes within reach on a coffee table.
- Keep purses and bags out of toddlers’ reach since they could hold hazardous things like medication or lighters.
Holiday gift risks
- Make sure helmets and other protective gear accompanies gifts like new toboggans, skates, skateboards, or bikes.
- Choose age-appropriate toys for your kids.