Worried about your Christmas lights being safe or how to child-proof your house for Christmas? Mum Tara shares 35 Christmas Safety Tips for Parents to ensure you keep the kids and yourself safe this Christmas.
Sign up for our free monthly newsletter stuffed full of ideas, competitions and offers. PS Did we mention it’s free?
35 Christmas Safety Tips for Parents
Christmas Tree Safety
#1. Artificial Trees are Safer
Consider an artificial tree (they are much safer and cleaner).
#2. Check when buying a real tree for needle loss
A real tree should not lose green needles when you tap it on the ground.
You might also enjoy reading 10 Tips for a Greener Christmas
#3. Make sure you give your tree water
It’s important to water your tree to ensure it doesn’t dry out over the holidays and become a fire hazard.
- Cut 1 inch off the trunk to help absorb water.
- The stand should hold at least 1 gallon of water.
- Clean the tree stand to improve the tree’s water intake, use one capful of bleach to a cup of water. As a guideline, a 6′ tree will use 1 gallon of water every two days.
- You can mix a commercial preservative with the water and make sure to check the water level every day.
#4. Leave the tree outside until ready to decorate
This will save you bumping furniture, etc and losing more needles until you are ready to decorate.
#5. Secure the Tree
Secure the tree with wire to keep it from tipping over or from small hands pulling it to cause it to tip.
You might also enjoy reading Tips from Parents For How To Have a Toddler Proof Christmas Tree
#6. Keep tree away from heat
Make sure to place the tree away from floor heaters, fire places, or other heat sources.
#7. Take care with your lights
- Use only UL-listed lights, and no more than 3 strands linked together.
- Use miniature lights–which have cool-burning bulbs.
- Make sure you turn off the Christmas lights when you sleep, or if you leave your home for very long.
#8. Avoid using candles on your tree
Never use candles, even on artificial trees.
#9. Dispose of the tree properly after Christmas
NEVER BURN A REAL TREE IN THE FIREPLACE. This can cause a real fire hazard, especially with the tree having dried out over the Christmas period.
Home Safety Tips for Christmas
#10. Check your Smoke Detectors
Make sure you have installed a smoke detector or new batteries in the one(s) you have and TEST it (them).
#11. Outdoor Lighting Safety Tips
- Use only outdoor lights outside your home.
- Examine light strings each year, discard worn ones.
- Fasten the bulbs securely and point the sockets down to avoid moisture build up.
- Make sure trees hung with X-mas lights outside are not touching power lines.
#12. Indoor Lighting Safety tips
- Connect no more than three strands of lights together. When connecting light strands, wrap a plastic bag around connections and tie ends with teflon tape.
- Unplug light string before replacing a bulb. Review the original package to verify proper wattage and voltage.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree, use colored spot lights.
#12. Be mindful of extension cords and multi sockets
Never use indoor extension cords outside and keep outdoor electrical connectors above ground and out of puddles and snow. Avoid overloading wall outlets and extension cords.
#13. Candle Safety Tips
When using candles, place them a safe distance from combustibles. Place candles in sturdy containers. REMEMBER, HOT WAX BURNS KIDS. Extinguish candles prior to going to bed.
#14. Fire Safety Tips
- Dispose of fireplace ashes into a metal container until cold.
- After parties, check around and under sofa and chair cushions for smoldering cigarettes. (Provide lots of ash trays)
- Have an operable fire extinguisher readily available.
#15. Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips
Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Toy Safety Tips
Choosing age appropriate gifts for children can be a difficult task in it’s own right. but it is easy to forget the dangers that unsuitable toys themselves can present for our younger generation.
Here are a few tips to help you:
#16. Select Safe Toys to Suit Ages
Select safe toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards to younger children.
#17. Avoid Toys with Small Parts for Wee Ones
For infants, toddlers, and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small parts which could pose a fatal choking hazard.
#18. Check for Sturdy Construction
Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes, noses, and other potential small parts.
#19. Avoid Toys with Sharp Edges
For all children under age 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.
#20. Avoid Toys with Heating Elements
Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under age 8.
#21. Look for Age Recommendations
Be a label reader. Look for labels that give age recommendations and use that information as a guide.
#22. Look for Clear Instructions
Check instructions for clarity. They should be clear to you, and when appropriate, to the child.
#23. Discard all wrappings
Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys, which can cause suffocation, before they become deadly playthings.
#24. Buy Protective Equipment if needed
If your child is going to be getting something that he can ride, such as a bicycle, inline skates, scooter, or a skateboard, be sure that he also gets the appropriate protective equipment, including a helmet and pads.
#25. Discourage Pellet guns
Discourage your kids from playing with BB and pellet guns.
You’ll find lots more Festive Ideas in our Christmas Section
Decorating Safety with Toddlers & Babies in the House
When decorating the home, it is important to keep in mind potential risks that hanging objects and unattended lighting can bring when we have toddlers and babies in the home, so here is another tip guide to decorating in a safe manner.
#26. Place a fence around your Christmas tree every year
This is a child fence that you can purchase at any good child store. This helps keep toddlers back from the tree, packages, lights, and decorations.
But remember, no fence is full proof when it comes to toddlers. They will always think up ingenious ways to climb over the fence or open it. So you will need to take other precautions just in case your toddler ‘breaks into’ your Christmas tree.
#27. Use non breakable Christmas ornaments that are within your toddlers reach
It is important to use non-breakable Christmas ornaments for those areas on the tree that are within toddler reach. This is far safer then glass ornaments which they will bite and eat.
Yes, toddlers are notorious for eating glass ornaments and many emergency rooms across the nation see this every year.
#28. Avoid tinsel with toddlers around
Do not use tinsel because it is a choking hazard and can create an intestinal blockage if a toddler should swallow some of it.
#29. Use Covers on Electrical Outlets
Use covers on all electrical outlets to protect little hands from getting electrocuted.
#30. Keep all lit candles out of the reach of your toddler
Toddlers are fascinated by candles so never leave your toddler unsupervised in a room with a lit candle because they will devise ways to climb up and see the candle closer which can prove very dangerous. They can get burnt not only by the flame but also the hot wax.
#31. Keep Nuts out of Reach
Keep all nuts like walnuts, cashews hazel nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and all other nuts out of children’s reach. Do not set holiday nuts in bowls out on the table.
Many toddlers and babies have choked to death throughout the years on holiday nuts.
#32. Keep Spare Light Bulbs Up High
Make sure spare light bulbs for holiday lights are put up out of reach of a toddler or baby because these can present a very serious choking hazard.
#33. Use LED Lights
Use LED lights that burn cool so your child does not get burnt if they should grab a Christmas light inadvertently.
#34. Don’t paint windows with white snow spray
Do not paint your windows with the white snow flocking that you spray onto the windows for decoration. Many children will try to lick the windows and this can upset their stomach.
#35. Keep sweets out of reach
Keep all hard sweets out of reach of babies and toddlers because these are a choking hazard. Many children have choked to death on hard holiday sweets.
“Safety” gift ideas
Put together a gift basket containing one or more of the following items:
• Three smoke detectors and batteries.
• A quality fire extinguisher.
• A flashlight and batteries or light sticks.
• A first-aid kit.
• A carbon Monoxide detector.
• A mobile phone.
• A second floor escape ladder.
• “Emergency kit”- energy bars, water, battery radio, flashlight/light sticks and a first-aid kit packed in a small travel bag.
Have an enjoyable and safe Holiday season!
You might also find this useful Window Blind Safety Tips
Do you have any other Christmas safety tips? Share them with us in the comments below.