Christmas is just around the corner. This time of the year is magical for children, and that magic rubs off on parents, too. But as we deck the halls and wrap the presents, there’s one thing we must keep in mind. Children are curious, and they lack the judgment and experience to know what is and isn’t safe. So make sure that along with your other holiday preparations, you do a little bit of baby proofing.
According to BC Children’s Hospital, more children die each year from injuries than from all diseases combined. And like it or not, each season brings its own dangers, including the most festive season of all. So what dangers should you look out for? And how should you go about baby proofing your home so that your little ones stay safe? We have tips.
Festive Baby Proofing Tips
1. Choose Toys Wisely
This is true all year long, of course. But over the holidays a whole lot of new toys are likely coming into your home. Taking the time to make sure the objects your little one handles every day are safe is one of the most important baby proofing steps you can take. Look out for choking hazards, make sure that there aren’t sharp edges and follow age guidelines. If you shop at a good toy store, the staff will also be able to help you choose something safe and fun. Here are our favourite toy stores in Vancouver.
2. Festive Plants
When you’re bringing plants into your house you want to make sure they are safe for children. It turns out that the stories about poinsettias being poisonous are largely untrue. However, that doesn’t mean you want your two-year-old to eat them. Holly berries – another holiday staple – actually are poisonous. Do your research before you place any plants within reach of your child.
3. O Christmas Tree
If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure that you keep it well watered and that it’s in a sturdy stand. You don’t want any tree fires, and you don’t want a curious little one pulling the tree down. Beyond that, baby proofing the tree starts with the ornaments. Make sure you don’t have any sharp or breakable ornaments within reach of your child. Also watch out for choking hazards. Ornaments that look like food are particularly dangerous on this front.
4. Let There be Lights
Modern holiday lights are way safer than the strings that decorated our trees when we were kids. Still, you want to keep an eye on your baby proofing anytime you’re plugging something new into an electrical outlet in your home. As always, make sure that your little one can’t get at outlets and pull on cords. Also make sure your child can’t reach light strings, because babies and toddlers love to explore with their mouths and that just isn’t a good idea. Also, keep your eye on recalls, and watch out for damaged or frayed cords.
5. Get More Info
If you want baby proofing tips over the holiday season or at any time of the year, check out BC Children’s Hospital. Their website has some great info and resources at www.bcchildrens.ca/health-info/healthy-living/child-safety. You can also find more information in their bookstore. Or stop by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit at www.injuryresearch.bc.ca.
Here’s to a safe and healthy holiday season!