One of my most vivid childhood memories of the holidays was the year I knocked over the tree. I didn’t mean to, it just happened. I was maybe four or five years old and went after a toy that had rolled behind the tree. Not knowing any better, I went after it and in the course of my diligent toy retrieval efforts, managed to knock the tree down.
Unfortunately, I broke several ornaments that had a lot of sentimental meaning to my parents, spilled the water in the tree stand and broke a few light bulbs as well. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it scared the heck out of me.
Fast forward several years to when I had children of my own. Not wanting history to repeat itself, I always made sure our tree was secure. In addition to being solidly in the stand, I also used clear fishing line to secure the tree to the handles on the windows behind it. I also kept a close watch on my kids whenever they got to close.
In the years since, I’ve picked up a few other tips to help my family safely enjoy the holidays and not be afraid that someone will get sick or hurt. Some of these also apply to families with dogs or cats.
I’m sure there are things you do around your home to keep children and pets safe. Here are a few of the tips I’ve picked up that may help this holiday season.
- Avoid decorations that look like food and could tempt little ones (or pets) to try to eahc.
- Limit rich, fatty holiday foods which can easily lead to an upset stomach.
- Holiday plants like holly, mistletoe, lilies and poinsettias are poisonous.
- Keep lit candles away from little hands and wagging tails.
- Keep hot pots and pans on back burners to prevent them from being accidentally knocked over and causing a burn.
- Make sure toys are age and ability appropriate and don’t contain small parts that could be a choking hazard.
If you haven’t seen it, there’s also a great article in this month’s @dvisor with additional holiday safety tips for children and pets.
From my home to yours, I wish you all a happy, healthy, joyous – and safe – holiday season!