Give the gift of safety to your child this Christmas!
- As the Christmas season approaches with wintery speed, it’s time to childproof in earnest to make sure the Christmas season is an accident and incident free zone. From Christmas decorations to overexcited little people and even unsuitable toys, it can be a recipe for spills, bumps and thumps, so follow our tips and help keep your child safe this season.
The Christmas tree….
- It pays to be better safe than sorry so make sure your tree is flameproof. If you are partial to an artificial tree, always check the packaging to see that it is made from fire-resistant materials. If you can’t pass up on the real thing, remember that chemical sprays that are used to prevent needle drop may be flammable.
- It’s ideal to purchase your live tree as late as possible and always check it for freshness. A fresh tree is a green tree, its needles are hard to pull from the branches and if you bend the needle between your fingers the needles don’t break. A fresh tree will also have a trunk sticky with resin, and when tapped the tree shouldn’t shed many needles.
- A safe tree is all about positioning. When setting the tree in place keep it free from fireplaces, radiators and portable heaters. And always place the tree out of the way of traffic and doorways.
- Did you know that you can preserve your tree for safety, by cutting a few inches off the trunk exposing the fresh wood, which allows for optimal water absorption? This will keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
The Christmas Lights….
- Ensure you don’t use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree may become charged with electricity from faulty lights and anyone touching the tree could be electrocuted. A definite no no!
- Always employ a high level of safety when using outdoor Christmas lights. Make sure to check labels so that they have been certified for outdoor use and when holding lights in place string them through hooks or insulated staples – never use nails or thumbtacks. Keep yourself safe and never pull or tug lights to remove them.
- When hanging you lights on your Christmas tree, check them all first, even if you have only purchased them. Ensure all bulbs are working, that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections that may entice a toddler to investigate.
- We recommend using circuit breakers for all outdoor electrical decorations to avoid potential shocks for everyone – including you.
- Never go to bed with your Christmas lights left on. Turn all lights of whenever you leave the house or go to bed, as there is always a risk they could short out and start a fire.
The Christmas Decorations….
- Choose flame-resistant decorations.
- Stick to non-combustible or flame-resistant material to trim the tree,
- Never, ever use candles on a tree or near other decorations. It doesn’t take much for a gust of wind through the house to change the direction of a candle flame.
- Try to avoid decorations that are sharp or easily broke, and ensure all decorations and trimmings with small removable parts are kept firmly out of your child’s reach. The temptation to put a Christmas decoration in the mouth is a real one for your curious toddler, be vigilant.
- Always use non-flammable candle holders and place candles where they cannot be reached or knocked over.
- Quickly remove any wrapping paper, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from the tree and fireplace areas once gifts have been opened. These items can pose a risk of suffocation and choking to a little person.
- Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace, it may cause a flash fire as wrapping paper can ignite quickly and burn intensely.
Santa! Think about toy safety….
- Ensure Santa chooses age-appropriate toys for your little one.
- Choose toys that match the age, abilities, skills and interests of your child. Toys that are too advanced may pose safety concerns for younger children.
- Always read instructions carefully and thoroughly before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy he has received as a gift.
- Avoid potential burns and electric shocks by not giving mains operated toys to children under 10 years of age.
- When selecting toys avoid toys with small parts particularly for children under three as they can cause a choking hazard.
- Keep balloons whether inflated, deflated or burst away as children can easily choke on the rubber material.
- Be careful when choosing pull cord toys such as cars, and trains, a toy with a string longer than 25-30cm long could prove a strangulation risk. Always remove strings and ribbons from toys before gifting them to small children.
- Once the festivities have finished, clean up immediately as a toddler with curious fingers and hunger in the belly could easily choke on leftover food.
- If you’re visiting relatives or friends, remember they may not live in a child-proofed home, so keep an eye out for potential danger spots and keep your little one supervised at all times.
- Christmas shopping, travelling and visiting can all cause disruption to your little one’s routine. Try keeping to her routine as much as possible so that her sleep schedule and timing of naps are uninterrupted. This will help you and your child enjoy the Christmas fun and reduce stress while keeping baby safe and secure in your home and the homes of others.
22nd Mar 2018