Safe celebrating during the Holidays

The holiday period is a great opportunity to get together with friends and family. For parents of young children however, it can also be a stressful time due to travelling, staying in non-childproofed houses, or hosting well-meaning guests who aren’t used to being aware of children’s safety. In order to make your holidays safer, more relaxing and more enjoyable, think about these ideas and safety concerns ahead of time.


Whether at home or away:

Whether at home or away:

  • precious breakables might be at risk from exploring toddlers so think about storing them during the holidays.
  • less is more when decorating the house for the holidays with small children around. Instead of putting up those expensive or heirloom decorations this year, why not spend a day making new decorations out of paper, cardboard and colourful tissue paper? This provides an activity on a cold winter’s day and the results can be hung on the wall or the tree with pride. 
  • ask your hosts ahead of time to put solvents and other dangerous and alluring substances (perfumes, cosmetics, medications, etc.) high up or in a locked cupboard.
  • arrange for a baby gate when visiting if child-proofing the whole house isn’t practical,
  • if your plans include a tree, think about trimming it with the children in mind, i.e. no ornaments small enough to swallow, and no fragile ornaments within reach. Keep electrical cords as out of reach as possible. Attach the tree to the wall or other strong support to avoid the possibility of it being pulled down by a child. Dispose of the tree promptly after the holidays, before it dries out and becomes a fire hazard.


  • if your relatives and friends would like to buy gifts for your child, make life easier for them and give them a list of appropriate toys for the child’s age group.
  • make sure you inspect toys as soon as the wrapping is off, to be certain there are no small, loose parts (possible choking hazard), and that batteries are well installed and inaccessible to your child’s small, explorative fingers.
  • dispose of plastic wrapping materials promptly, since they can pose a hazard to young children.
Ask visitors to keep a close eye on their belongings including suitcases, purses, and any medications they may have. Provide a safe, inaccessible place for dangerous or breakable items to be stored during the visit. 
Never assume that because there are more adults in the house that you can relax your vigilance over your toddler. If you want to take a break or you’re busy with another activity, make sure you specifically ask someone reliable to keep an eye on your child.
Fire safety

Fire safety

Here are some reminders:

  • Candles, matches and lighters can cause severe burns or start a fire very quickly in the hands of a curious child. Make sure they are kept out of reach.
  • The cover of a gas fireplace or even a space heater can reach high enough temperatures to cause burns. Keep children away from them.
  • Never allow a child to be alone in the room with a wood fireplace that is lit or with a gas fireplace that is on.
  • Make sure if you’re bringing home a tree that it is fresh (the needles are hard to pull out) and keep it well watered. 
  • Never use candles as decorations on a tree. 
  • Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order.

Once you’ve gone through this check list and added to it anything else your common sense suggests to you, enjoy the holiday season in relaxation and safety!