Worried about holiday safety with little ones? Learn holiday safety tips to keep your kids safe and happy at home this Christmas and Hanukkah.
The holidays are here again, and with it comes extra ways for your kids to injure themselves! If this is your first holiday season with twins who are on the go, your typical holiday setup is going to need some changes. But don’t worry — this may only be necessary for the next…. oh… 5 to 6 years? We promise, some day you’ll be able to have all your normal holiday decor back in its proper place. But, for now, following our holiday safety tips will save you a ton of stress and make this season so much more enjoyable and safe for your whole family.
Childproofing your fireplace is important for year round, but at the holidays when you’re actually using it you need to make sure you’re stepping up your game. Make sure you’ve got doors on the fireplace that can be locked so little hands can’t play in the ashes. If the doors are glass or metal you will definitely need some kind of baby gate (buy on Amazon) or expandable play yard to place in front of it to avoid burns.
That porcelain Christmas village you put out every year on the coffee table? Yeah. If you still want it to be in one piece at the end of December, you may want to skip it this year. Or, if you must put it out, put it high up where little ones can’t reach it. Just be aware that if a kid wants something, they will likely stop at nothing to get it. So keep chairs and stools far away so they aren’t tempted to climb up on them to reach those fun breakables!
Tack down cords
This holiday safety tip is something you may want to do year-round with all of your electronic equipment. Cords that run from the Christmas tree, electric menorah, or any other electric decoration should be tacked down to the floor or wall with tape or Command hooks (buy on Amazon). This will avoid your kids tripping and discourage them from playing with it. Kids just love wrapping cords around their necks for some reason — make sure that’s not an option!
Oh, Christmas tree
There are so many accidents that can happen with a Christmas tree! Here are my best holiday safety tips for Christmas tree safety:
My number one tip is to anchor the tree to the wall so your kids can’t pull it over. This doesn’t have to be expensive or permanent. We place our tree in front of a cabinet with handles on the doors. I break out the ball of string (that I use to tie up my roasts with), wrap it once around the trunk, and tie it to the cabinet handles. After Christmas, I snip the string off with scissors. Easy peasy. If you don’t have a place to tie the string to, purchase a Command hook that you can remove from the wall after Christmas is over.
Next, put your Christmas tree inside a large pack n’ play. That way it will be off the floor and totally out of your kids’ reach. You won’t have to worry at all about your toddlers wrecking it and hurting themselves. The Summer Infant Pop N’ Play is perfect for this (buy on Amazon). Another option: put the tree in the corner and use an expandable play yard around it (buy on Amazon). However, you’ll probably need to attach this to the walls to truly keep your kids from getting to the tree.
Make sure when you’re decorating the tree that you keep the bottom 2 feet of the tree completely bare and keep your most precious ornaments near the top of the tree. You will thank me! I’ve had so many gorgeous ornaments just completely demolished by my kids. If you really want something for the kids, get some soft fabric ornaments that you don’t mind them pulling off (because they will… here are some cute ones) and keep those on the bottom. Avoid any ornaments that have loose pieces and don’t use metal hooks for these.
Like Charlie Brown’s, but cuter
If your kids are really obsessed with Christmas trees, here’s another holiday safety tips to keep them from messing with it. Buy them their own little toy Christmas tree! They can decorate it with toy ornaments and you can reuse for years! Step2 makes a great one (buy on Amazon). If you have the wall space, this felt kids Christmas tree is another great option (buy on Amazon).
Where there’s smoke
If you like to use a real tree, invest in an ornament smoke detector (buy on Amazon). If your tree somehow catches on fire, you’ll get an ear piercing alarm to notify you.
This last holiday safety tips is not really for safety — it is just plain awesome. A remote for your Christmas tree lights! (buy on Amazon) I’m adding this to my cart in 3…2…1… I really hate having to get down on all fours to plug and unplug the tree every night. Is it weird that I’m a little too excited about this?
Come Light the Menorah
“Oh Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah!” Except you; you’re a toddler, so hands off! LOL!
I own some really awesome Hanukkah menorahs but since I had my twins I’ve had to change pretty much everything about how I display them. This is a similar problem to the breakables I mentioned earlier… only these are on fire. So yeah, it adds a whole other layer of anxiety to the whole thing.
The mantel is really the best place for a lit menorah. It’s very high up and chances are you won’t catch anything on fire. I would avoid using your kitchen countertops or your kitchen table, as those are both a little too low and easy for kids to reach, and I’d be concerned about your cabinets. If you have a large kitchen island and you can place the menorahs in the middle, that may work too.
Typical Hanukkah candles burn pretty quickly (ours are typically out within an hour) but still make sure to keep a close eye on them. Lighting the menorahs and then leaving them in the other room isn’t the best idea. Make sure to put out a nice piece of aluminum foil underneath to catch the candle drippings, and clean out the leftover wax from last year so the candles sit properly in their holders. To clean out an old menorah, soak the candle holders in hot water for about 10 minutes or so and use a small screwdriver to clean out the melted wax.
When your kids are older and ask to light the candles themselves, I recommend that you hold the candle with your own hand and have your child put their hand on yours to “help”. That way you have total control over the Shamash (the leader candle that lights all the others). I wouldn’t plan to have your kids try light it themselves until they are at least 7 or 8 years old and they are very mature and responsible. In the meantime, an electric menorah for the window is a great alternative for them (buy on Amazon). They can twist the bulbs each night to light a new “candle”.
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More holiday safety tips
Here are a few extra holiday safety tips to make sure your holidays are peaceful and don’t end up with an ER visit.
- Check that your smoke detectors are working. Make sure to have one in the main room where the tree/menorah is displayed.
- Keep a small fire extinguisher handy
- When you’re opening gifts, have a big garbage bag handy as you unwrap gifts to clean up as you go. This will avoid your little ones finding wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon to put in their mouths and/or wrap around their necks. Rascals!
- Keep sharp knives and other sharp utensils out of reach from little hands. It’s so easy to just leave these out on the counter while you’re juggling 7 different side dishes and a big turkey. Leaving out some safe kitchenware, such as mixing bowls and wooden spoons, will keep your kiddos busy and out of trouble in the kitchen.
From our Twiniversity family to yours, we wish you a healthy, happy, and SAFE holiday season!