1. When putting up Christmas lights at home for the holidays, make sure that all electrical cords are in good condition. Never run cords under the carpet and avoid overloading sockets with many plugs because this can start an electrical fire.
2. When visiting other people’s homes, remember that their homes may not be child-proofed. When arriving at a party or friend’s house, look around to make sure that there are no obvious hazards to your child.
3. When going out to holiday parties without the children, be sure that your babysitter knows where and how to reach you. All emergency numbers should be clearly posted so that the babysitter can use them if needed.
4. To avoid food poisoning, always thaw the turkey in the refrigerator and not on the countertop. Also, remember that food should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
5. Children love to get toys for Christmas! It is a good idea to follow the age ranges on packages, as toys that are too advanced could be hazardous for younger children. Make sure that there are no parts of the toy that could be swallowed or can choke a child.
6. Children enjoy stuffed toys like Teddy bears and cloth dolls. When buying these items make sure that they have sturdy seams and that the eyes, noses and other parts are very firmly attached. Loose pieces can easily be swallowed by a child.
7. Make sure that your young child does not have access to the Christmas tree. Ornaments are often made of metal plastic or foam, and can be dangerous as they can block the child’s air passage, and can also cut a child’s skin.
8. Holiday plants are quite attractive to children but potentially very toxic. Make sure that plants such as Mistletoe, Holly and Rhododendron are out of the reach of children at all times.
9. Gift wrapping often contains toxic metals and therefore children should not be allowed to chew them. Additionally do not burn gift wrapping paper in the fireplace as this may give off toxic fumes.
10. Toy ideas for children under the age of one include wooden blocks, float and squeeze toys and soft animals without buttons or other parts. Do not give small toys that can be swallowed, or toys with long strings that may potentially strangle a child.
11. Toy ideas for the over 2 year-old range include developmental toys that encourage the imagination to expand. Projectile-type toys such as guns, weapons and toys with sharp edges or points are not appropriate.
12. Merry Christmas! Christmas is a family affair, so try to involve the whole family! The more a child is included in the festivities the more is entrenched a sense of belonging and being loved. Enjoy and share their joy!