Reduce the risk of fire by only using flame-resistant materials. If using an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-resistant. For real trees be sure to keep them well-watered to avoid drying out and to reduce the risk of fire.
The best option is to store delicate, breakable glass ornaments and decorations until your children are older. If you do display them, make sure they are far from the reach of little hands. Consider placing a baby gate around your tree to make it, and delicate decorations, less accessible to tiny hands.
The trimmings for gifts are beautiful, but they are a triple threat for children. Prevent possible suffocation, choking and fire hazards by gathering wrappings and packaging pieces as gifts are unwrapped.
Never use lit candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Use non-flammable candle holders and avoid glass or breakable containers. Make sure candle holders are out of reach of children and are not sitting on a cloth that can be pulled. Consider flameless candles to create the same candlelit ambiance without the risk of fire. Just make sure that batteries are secure if the candle is battery-operated.
Artificial snow can have chemicals that can be harmful when sprayed and inhaled, so follow instructions on the can carefully. Be sure to wear gloves when decorating with angel hair spun glass or other potential irritants to protect your skin.
Little ones naturally put about anything in their mouths. Things like tiny figurines, wreaths with small decorations, potpourri, and hard candies and nuts are choking hazards. What size is a potential choking hazard? A good rule of thumb is anything small enough to pass through a toilet paper roll holder.
Traditional holiday plants with their colorful berries are beautiful – and tempting for little fingers on the lookout. Mistletoe, poinsettia and holly are the typical targets. The American Association of Poison Control Centers says they are not poisonous, but can cause nausea, diarrhea, tingling or burning of the mouth when eaten.
Strings of lights may be coated in a plastic that contains lead, so be sure to wash your hands after handling lights. Artificial trees made in China or that are older than nine years old may also contain lead or give off dangerous levels of lead dust as they deteriorate. Toss old trees and check labels for new ones about lead content.
Airport travel with kids can be a stressful, and lets face it - exhausting, experience. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has protocols in place to help people traveling with children.