Learning how to baby proof your home for the holidays does not have to be a “Scrooge-ish” task! Here are six simple tips for preventing accidents while hosting or traveling. Remember, your child’s health and safety is the greatest gift of all!
(1) Tree Safety:
- Hang any lights or ornaments up high.
- Check that all chords and plugs are safe and out of your child’s reach.
- You may even want to consider anchoring the tree to the wall if possible. Never leave your baby or toddler unattended near the tree, and keep the floor clean of needles.
- While poinsettias are only mildly toxic to pets, mistletoe, holly and amaryllis are toxic to your child and should be kept out of reach.
(2) Ornament and Decoration Safety: You can still engage in the festivity, but just be sensible when you decorate.
- How to baby proof 101: anything that looks like it may be food, i.e. decorative ornaments that resemble candy, are better put away.
- Inspect decorations for any loose parts or sharp edges and keep them out of reach from your baby. In particular, be aware of ornament hooks that have fallen on the floor. You may want to lie on the floor to see if there is anything on your baby’s level that may be hazardous and within his/hers reach.
(3) Sugar Plum Safety: While your baby or toddler may have visions of sugarplums dancing in his/her head, don’t over do it. Your baby still has a sensitive stomach and while they may want to partake in the festivity, you should still be aware of potential food allergies.
- Baby proof your kitchen by keeping all of the goodies contained and out of reach of your child. Remind your guests to do the same, including keeping colorful alcoholic beverages away.
- Simple things like a table runner in reach of a child learning to walk can prove to be dangerous during the holidays.
- Nuts and candy are particularly enticing to babies, but can be choking hazards. If you or a family member’s child has a nut allergy, reference this list of peanut protein containing ingredients in order to avoid serving. Finally, keep all of the chestnuts that are roasting and the hot oven off limits for your baby.
(4) Wish List: Gently remind gift givers and grandparents to give gifts that are age appropriate and safe for your baby.
- Avoid anything with small pieces that can become loose and/or a choking hazard to your baby. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1-1/4 inches in diameter and 2-1/4 inches long.
- It is a good idea to check www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/ for any toy recalls and general safety information.
(5) Special Delivery: With all of the guests visiting and packages being delivered, it is easy to forget to lock the door behind you. Keep your child and pets safe by closing and locking your doors securely.
(6) Over The River: As you make your way towards Grandma’s house and other holiday destinations, be sure that car seats are up to date and safely installed.
- If your baby is in the car while you are pumping gas, lock the doors to the car. An unlocked car is a prime target for purse thieves, and while you pump gas, a baby in the car won’t be enough to dissuade a thief from reaching in and taking your purse while you aren’t looking.
- Put all child safety locks in the vehicle on so that your child doesn’t inadvertently open a door or window.
- Whether at Grandma’s or at a hotel, take time to baby proof the space. You baby will be eager to explore its new surroundings, so it is essential that you use baby proof plugs, hide chords and secure furniture that can easily topple over.
In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is easy to rush through or skip the safety logistics. Keep in mind these six tips to baby proofing so your family can be both safe and set to make happy holiday memories together.
Any additional tips to add to our holiday baby proofing list? Tweet @BubblesAcademy #babyproofing
Kim Schiefelbein is the Senior Director of Music and Community Programming at Bubbles Academy. Kim leads the development and teaching of the music curriculum and partners with Neighborhood Parents Network to present their Chicago School Choice workshops. A certified fitness instructor, Kim also leads the Stroller Fitness program.