Trim the Tree Safely
The National Fire Protection Association calculates that Christmas trees cause 210 annual house fires. You could buy a fireproof artificial tree, but then your kids miss out on choosing and trimming a fresh tree. To prevent fires and other tree dangers, though, choose the fresh tree in the lot, place it away from heating sources and keep it saturated with water. Cut off low branches that could poke your kids in the eyes. Additionally, secure the tree from tipping over when you place it in a wide-based stand.
According to legend, German preacher Martin Luther added lit candles to the holiday tree in the early 1500s. Sparkling lights remain a staple in holiday decor, but exercise caution when burning candles. Place them away from the surface edges, teach your kids not to touch the flame, and remove flammable fabrics and paper from the vicinity of lit candles.
If you string lights instead of burning candles, use only Underwriters Lab-approved lights and cords. Inspect each strand for frayed or exposed wires and loose connections before plugging them in, and attach no more than three strings of lights per extension cord. Home insurance will include coverage for accidents, but keep your kids safe when you secure all cords and lights to prevent your kids from pulling or tripping on them.
You probably use other items as decorations too. Remember that small ornaments aren’t safe since they’re choking hazards. Likewise, resist decorating with marbles or anything else that looks like candy. Tinsel and ribbon could become twisted around your little ones’ fingers or toes, so don’t use those items. Place glass angels and crèches on high shelves where your children can’t reach them.
Food Timeline shares that animal crackers originated in the late 1800s, while the decorative box was marketed as a Christmas tree ornament in 1902. If you and your family want to make your own animal cookies or other holiday treats, follow seven safety tips.
- Always supervise your kids while baking and cooking. You don’t want them pulling a mug of hot chocolate onto their laps.
- Store a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends you choose an extinguisher that’s comfortable to hold and is an ABC-type that handles ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and electrical fires.
- Don’t let young children chow down on nuts, mints or popcorn. These popular holiday finger foods pose choking hazards.
- Store alcohol, alcoholic beverages and baking extracts with alcohol content out of a child’s reach. Kids can get sick if they ingest alcohol.
- Keep knives and other sharp cooking tools out of your kids’ reach. You don’t want your young children to reach for a fresh cookie and find a sharp knife instead.