Six ways to childproof your home for the holidays

November 1, 2020 by PEMCO Insurance

​If your holiday celebration will welcome a new (or newly mobile) family member, you'll want to safeguard them against dangers often overlooked once your own children have passed their toddler years. Those include:

GettyImages-1040563062.jpg1.     Candles. Not only are candles a danger when lit (hot wax, open flame), but their enticing scents can tempt a toddler to nibble on them when unlit. Opt for LED flameless versions, instead.

2.     Tablecloths. To a toddler, a tablecloth looks like a handhold! As they pull to steady themselves, the tablecloth and everything on it (hot food, glassware, cutlery) can come tumbling down.

3.     Package decorations. Have you ever adorned your packages with small jingle bells tied into the ribbon? Festooned them with mistletoe or holly berries? Seemingly innocent add-ons (and even the ribbon itself) can pose choking or poisoning hazards to kids and pets. And once the gifts are opened? Make sure to gather up all those foam packing peanuts.

4.     Tippable trees. Unless the tree is firmly anchored, a toddler's pull can bring it crashing down in seconds – risking injury not just from the tree itself, but the glass ornaments that may decorate it.

5.     Vintage ornaments. Many older decorations contain lead or spun glass (remember "angel hair" from the '60s and '70s?). Cherished though they may be, Great Grandma's ornaments are best left in storage until the kids are older.

6.     Hot fireplace glass. Since 2015, new gas fireplaces manufactured in the United States must include barriers to prevent accidental burns caused by touching or falling against superheated glass. If your home was built before then, take care to block off your fireplace or skip the cheery holiday glow altogether.

And any time of year, watch for these dangers when hosting little visitors: poisoning risks from laundry pods, medicines, and household cleaners; choking risks from corded blinds (move cribs and beds away from the wall); drowning risks from pools, hot tubs, and landscaping water features (gate off or drain them); and bite-injury risks from nervous pets (treat your pet to the serenity of an off-limits bedroom).

Share on social media

Comments on this post