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Be child safety wise

Ah, Christmas, whether you love it or hate it, can’t wait to book a ticket to Lapland or escape screaming to an uninhabited tropical island, it is coming to a living room near you soon.

Avoid holiday horrors
It can be a magical time of year for children and their parents. But, a festive brew of excitement, stress and alcohol means that it can be a dangerous time in the home as well. According to ROSPA, each year over 1,000 people are injured by innocent looking Christmas trees alone, and, more seriously, people are 50% more likely to die in house fires over the festive period than at other times of the year. However, a basic awareness of the risks can reduce the chances of families becoming part of a festive statistic. 

Decorate with care
For example, fairy lights can represent a real danger. Never plug several sets into the one socket, and make sure the plug is wired with an appropriate fuse. Most importantly, keep them away from children, as coloured light bulbs can look a lot like boiled sweets, and are easily swallowed. Likewise, traditional glass baubles should only ever be displayed where young children cannot reach them, as they are very appealing to small children, and can easily shatter into razor-sharp shards. Candles and oil burners should never be left unattended, and should never be placed near to trees, tinsel, or other decorations which could easily catch fire.

Play it safe
In our electronically driven world, batteries can also pose a risk to small children, particularly button batteries, and other smaller types, as these can be easily swallowed. Make sure that children cannot remove batteries from toys they may be playing with, and that spares are not left lying around. In addition, children can find themselves unsupervised for longer than normal, as parents busy themselves with essential festive tasks such as wrapping presents, putting up trees and cooking dinner. And then there is the demon drink. As most of us know from office parties, it can distort both your perception of time, and your ability to assess risk. And the booze itself can be a risk as well – half drunk glasses should be emptied and washed out so children don’t pick up and polish-off the remains.

Keep festive gatherings safe
All the usual household risks don’t go away just because it’s Christmas. This is particularly the case when visiting the homes of friends or family members who may not be used to having small children in the house. They might not have the same awareness of dangers that parents do, and it may be that medicines, household cleaners, and other hazardous products are not stored as safely as they should be.

Hide them so they don’t seek
At home, it’s as important as ever to make sure that household cleaning products are stored in locked cupboards, in their original containers, and with the child-proof caps screwed down tight. And remember, products protected with Bitrex are much, much harder for children to swallow. If all else fails, and attention lapses in a house full of laughter and distractions, this can be a vital safety net for young children.