As Christmas Day fast approaches, the excitement is definitely building. At Christmas time, the atmosphere changes and for one day, all of your cares and worries seem far away as you celebrate with your loved ones.
The festive season becomes even more magical when you’re the parent of a baby or toddler. You can’t wait to see their little face light up on Christmas morning and spend this precious time together as a family. However, without adequate preparation, your magical Christmas could turn into a potential nightmare.
As fun and exciting as Christmas Day can be, it can also be potentially dangerous for babies and toddlers. Therefore, if you want to ensure the big day is as special as you imagine it to be, you’ll want to follow the Christmas Day safety tips below.
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1. Pay Attention To Age Restrictions On Toys
It may sound obvious, but making sure any toys you’ve bought for your little one are age-appropriate is essential. Some toys may contain small parts which can pose a significant choking hazard. So, check the age restrictions on the packaging if you haven’t already.
However, you may want to use your own initiative too. Even toys which claim they’re suitable for babies and toddlers may not be as safe as you think. Always read reviews of the toys you’ve bought, or are thinking of buying, so you can see whether there is anything to be wary of.
2. Beware Of Button Batteries
One thing you’re going to need plenty of over Christmas is button batteries. They’re used to power a whole range of things from appliances to decorations and toys. This means, on Christmas day you’re going to need to make sure any button batteries you use or replace, are immediately discarded and placed out of reach of your baby or toddler.
It’s not just the button batteries that are exposed which you need to be aware of. Novelty Christmas decorations and toys don’t always come with a secure cover. This means your toddler will easily be able to take the cover off and get to the battery underneath.
The trouble is, not only do they pose a choking hazard, but if they’re swallowed, the acid within the battery can lead to the development of caustic soda inside your toddler’s body. This is extremely serious and can burn holes inside the throat or cause damage to major blood vessels which in severe cases could lead to death.
So, making sure any novelty items lying around have secure, screwed-down covers is essential for toddler safety.
3. Keep Small Items Out Of Reach
In the excitement of the big day, it’s easy to forget to ensure all small items are kept out of your child’s reach. The toys which come in Christmas crackers are a particular choking hazard, so always ensure they’re tidied away straight after the meal. Go around the house and double check there are no small items within your toddler’s reach.
4. Be Sure To Clean Up And Hide Any Alcohol
Again, this one may sound obvious but on Christmas Day it is easy to forget the basic rules. Even if you’ve just had a small glass of wine, make sure the bottle is hidden away and any empty bottles are discarded.
It’s even important to ensure you don’t leave any alcohol in a glass. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can poison young children so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
5. Ensure Your Toddler Stays Out Of The Kitchen
Now, you might not be able to keep your toddler out of the kitchen all day, but it’s important to make sure they’re not there while you’re cooking Christmas dinner. This is because scalds and burns tend to be the most common injury toddlers suffer during the festive season.
Even if you plan on watching them the entire time, accidents do happen; especially when it’s hectic in the kitchen! The last thing you need when you’re trying to cook Christmas dinner is to be worrying about what your toddler is doing so try to keep them out of the kitchen until everything is cooked and cleaned away.
6. Keep A Close Eye On Candles
Candles can really add to the magical feel on Christmas Day, but they can also pose several dangers.
Firstly, there’s the risk your little one could burn themselves on the candles. Even if you think they’re out of reach, your toddler may still be able to knock them over. So, you’ll need to keep an eye on them and ensure your toddler isn’t left alone while the candles are burning.
It’s not just the risk of burns you need to worry about either. Candles can also cause a fire risk; particularly if they’re placed near Christmas decorations or the tree. So, to be extra-safe, never leave candles unattended on the big day and ensure they’re well out of reach, and away from anything flammable.
7. Make Sure Medications Are Out Of Reach
Now, obviously if anyone in the home takes medications, they’ll typically be stored away as they always are on Christmas Day. So, this tip relates to those having family or friends over for Christmas.
Visitors may not realize how many places toddler’s can get into. For example, they may think their medication is perfectly safe in their handbag, but as you know all too well, little hands have no problem getting into handbags, or on bedside tables. Make sure everyone knows where to put medications and keep them well out of reach of your child.
8. Check The Tree
The Christmas tree may have been up for some time now, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pose a potential safety hazard. Excitement levels are increased on Christmas Day and this means your usually well-behaved toddler, may suddenly want to grab absolutely everything.
There’s also the risk they’ll run around a lot more, increasing the likelihood of knowing over the tree. It’s a good idea to consider attaching the tree to the wall, or at least blocking it off so energetic toddlers can’t accidentally run into it.
Another tree safety tip is to double check the fairy lights and make sure to remove any which are broken. If some of the lights have broken, it could pose a fire risk. The last thing you want to have to deal with on Christmas Day is a fire!
9. Clear Packaging Away As Soon As Possible
The unwrapping of the presents is by far one of the best parts of Christmas Day. However, the huge mound of discarded wrapping paper you’re left with can be potentially hazardous to your little one. Not only can babies and toddlers choke on the packaging, but it can also cause them to trip or fall.
So, keep a bag next to you so that any wrapping can be safely discarded as soon as it’s taken off the presents.
10. Don’t Let Them Overindulge
Obviously, you’re going to want to let your toddler enjoy a few treats on Christmas Day. However, just like at Halloween, letting them overindulge can lead to many problems. Not only is it going to make them hyperactive, but it’s also going to potentially cause havoc on their little tummies.
This means, they could end up waking up on Boxing Day, feeling very unwell! Remember, your toddler has a smaller, more sensitive tummy than you do. So, portion sizes should be kept smaller and treats should definitely be limited.
If you follow the tips above, you’ll be sure to have a safe, enjoyable Christmas. Above all else, just enjoy the day. Christmas is a magical time for children. Even if baby is too young to understand what’s going on, they’ll still love the atmosphere and the different sights and sounds that Christmas Day brings.