There’s the danger of your kid not reacting well on Christmas morning if Santa fails to deliver the Xbox Kinect, and then there are the actual and very real dangers associated with Christmas that will deliver more than just an evil eye from your disappointed tween. Many of the hazards exist year round, but some are more pronounced at Christmastime. Here’s a list of safety concerns to be aware of this holiday season:
1. Toxic Mistletoe
It’s so pretty, it must be tasty, right? Well, adults (hopefully) know better, but look at it through the lens of a 2-year-old who might also think that dirt and chocolate are one in the same, and who knows what the not fully developed brain of a toddler imagines when casting a glance at the bright red berries on the pretty green leaves. Make sure yours is tied up high, as the risks include choking, and actual poison. Some varieties are more toxic than others, but do you really want to find out which kind you have?
2. Falling Trees
Fasten your tree to a wall. Your tree isn’t near a wall? Move it near a wall and fasten it. Ask around and you’ll hear how common it is for little ones to get too close, or play with it a little too roughly and have it come crashing down on top of them or someone else. On that same note stick your glass ornaments in storage and buy some plastic ones until your kids are old enough to know to avoid broken glass.
3. Burning Trees
Watering your tree is crucial, but open flames from candles near a tree or shorts in electrical lights cause more tree fires than anything else at Christmas.
Sure, you hear stories every year about Bob from accounting who tossed back one too may shots of eggnog and emailed a scanned photocopy of his butt to everyone from the CEO to the janitor. But if you’re throwing or attending a holiday party with your kids, make sure to keep an eye on them so they’re not grabbing someone else’s whiskey, wine or eggnog. Emergency room statistics reflect a spike in alcohol poisoning among kids during the holidays.
5. Other People’s Homes
Of course your house has been childproofed since you saw that plus sign on your home pregnancy test, but what about people who don’t have kids and who throw parties? Make sure to keep an eye on your little ones around stairs with no gate, fireplaces with or without a screen and low tables with sharp edges.
Grandma gives good gifts, hugs and always has a peppermint to share, but make sure she doesn’t overshare: Tell her to leave her purse in her room. If she has any prescription medicine in it, the last thing you need is your kid rummaging around for another candy and coming across the little white balls in that colorful little vial. Tis not the season for an accidental overdose.