It was so much easier when your child was a baby – he was confined to where you put him and he couldn’t stray from that on his own. But now that he has mastered the art of walking and is trying to scale every piece of furniture that looks remotely inviting, keeping him safe is so much harder.
If visions of sugar plums have been replaced in your head with visions of trips to the emergency room, you may want to review this toddler holiday safety checklist.
Don’t give your little Spider-Man an extra place to climb
Those attractive, evenly-spaced little branches on a Christmas tree look like the perfect size for a toddler’s little feet. Climbing up a tree to get to an ornament that has caught his eye can seem like a great idea to a toddler.
Luckily, there’s more than one solution to stop your child from toppling the tree. Instead of putting the tree in a main room, you can put it in a room that isn’t used as often and has a door that can be shut to keep out all potential climbers. Or, you can invest in a good baby gate and place it around the tree.
Keep an eye on tiny batteries
Those tiny pill-sized batteries can be found in many products these days, and they are just the right size for you to overlook when they drop on the floor. But you know who won’t miss them? Your toddler. The floor is his domain and he sees and inspects everything that drops onto it.
If you drop a battery and can’t find it, thoroughly vacuum your floor and keep a closer eye on your child to ensure he doesn’t find it and swallow it.
Pay attention to fire hazards
If you love to have a cozy fire during the holiday season, make sure your chimney is open for business. If it has been a while since your fireplace was last inspected, you should have it checked to screen it for any blockages that could cause chimney fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Candles are popular, especially during the holidays, but they attract some serious attention from your toddler. Keep them up high so she can’t get to them, and make sure there are no nearby chairs she can use to reach them.
Watch out for toxic plants
With its beautiful red berries and bright green leaves, Holly is a perfect fit for someone looking for a natural Christmas decoration. But think twice about bringing this plant into your house when you have children. Both the leaves and berries on this plant contain toxins which can be harmful to children if they eat them.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.