The Christmas season should a time of joy and celebration, although it's easy to get bent out of shape about the numerous preparations and interactions that go into a family holiday event. With the all distractions and stressors, sometimes we can miss critical details vital for our safety and that of our families in the midst of the holiday rush. So what are key points to remember when getting ready to spend Christmas with our loved ones?
Be Tree-Smart: If you have children or they'll be visiting, make sure that you decorate your tree with kids in mind - any highly fragile glass ornaments or those with metal hooks should be placed higher up on the tree and beyond children's reach. Also make sure to water your tree on a regular basis, since a dry tree is a potential fire hazard in your home.
Check Those Lights: Lights on your Christmas tree and around your house are a near-certainty in holiday decorations. To protect against the possibility of a fire, make sure that the lights on your tree and around your home don't have any exposed/frayed wires, broken connections, or loose sockets. When taking your lights out of storage or their package, give them a good once-over to spot any potential danger points.
Blow out the Candles: Feel free to make a wish every evening when blowing out your Christmas candles - you don't want to leave them burning overnight. Also keep any candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable. As for matches and lighters, ensure that they're away from the reach of children.
Harmful Plants: Holiday plants are a great way to put your home in the Christmas season, but some of them are actually toxic. Included among poisonous plants are holly, mistletoe berries, and Jerusalem cherry. Keep these at a safe distance from children and pets, and in case of ingestion, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
Cooking Safety: It's easy to get distracted while cooking the big Christmas meal, and the result could very well be a kitchen fire or burn injury. Use the back burner of your stove for cooking, and turn your pot handles away from the edge so children can't grab them. Also encourage older children to assume responsibility for kitchen-related chores like cooking with an eye to educating them on cooking safety.
Get Smart on Toys: Is the toy your children are receiving for Christmas age-appropriate? Just remember to look over the instructions and warning labels. Oftentimes toys that might seem suitable for small children actually contain moving parts and smaller components that could present a choking hazard. No one wants to give a Christmas present that could be dangerous!