Better safe than sorry..
Christmas gets most children carried away – but overexcitement, unsuitable toys and even Christmas decorations can cause accidents. Follow these tips to keep your child safe for the season…
Your Christmas tree…
• Make sure it’s flameproof.
If you’re purchasing an artificial tree, check the packaging to make it’s fire resistant; if you’re having a live tree, bear in mind that chemical sprays to prevent needle-drop may be flammable.
• Buy your live tree as late as possible and check it for freshness.
A fresh tree is green, its needles are hard to pull from the branches and when bent between your fingers, the needles don’t break. The trunk should besticky with resin, and when you tap it on the ground the tree shouldn’t shed many needles.
• Position it carefully.
When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and don’t block doorways.
• Preserve it for safety.
Cut a few inches off the trunk to expose the fresh wood – this allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
Your Christmas lights...
• Avoid lights on a metallic tree.
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree – the tree could become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
• Use outdoor lights safely.
Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they’ve been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
• Check all tree lights before hanging them on your tree, even if you’ve just purchased them.
Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
• Use circuit breakers for all outdoor electric decorations to avoid potential shocks.
• Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house – there’s a risk they could short out and start a fire.
Your Christmas decorations…
• Stick to flame-resistant decorations.
Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
• Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
Always use non-flammable holders and place candles where they won’t be knocked over.
• Keep them child-friendly In homes with small children.
Take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid them from swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.
• Remove wrapping paper, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened.
These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child, or can cause a fire if near flame.
• Don’t burn giftwrap in the fireplace.
A flash fire may result, as wrappings can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
• Keep them age-appropriate.
Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.
• Read instructions carefully before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy he has received as a gift.
• Prevent burns and electric shock by not giving kids under ten toys that are mains-operated.
• Check for small parts.
Children under three can choke on small parts contained in toys or games.
• Avoid choking hazards.
Kids under eight can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons.
• Police pullcord toys.
Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 25-30cm long – they could be a strangulation hazard for babies. Remove strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
• Clean up immediately after a holiday party – a toddler could rise early and choke on leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.
• Check on childproofing.
Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots.
• Soothe seasonal stress .
Travelling, visiting family members, getting presents and shopping can all increase your child’s stress levels. Sticking to her usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy Christmas and reduce stress.
Have yourself a lovely, safe, Christmas, from all at Supernanny!