Toddlerproofing During the Holidays

| December 10, 2012 | 28 Comments

Girl holding a christmas ornamentThis is the time of year when company is coming and going, new decorations are out in full view and you might be visiting relatives. To your toddler, this is extremely exciting, and her curiosity is probably piqued. While you know what she tends to get into at your home on a normal day, you might be surprised at all of the dangers that are suddenly quite literally at her fingertips. Here are some things to keep in mind this holiday season as you strive to keep your toddler safe:

  • If you are hosting visitors, remind them to keep their toiletries, medications and vitamins out of the reach of your child. If Grandma is leaving her pill box on the bathroom counter, this could spell out tragedy for your little one! While your toddler might not be intrigued by the deodorant and toothpaste in the medicine cabinet of your master bathroom, he might be very interested in the lotions and potions in the toiletry bags of your guests. Very little children don’t know that it’s rude to snoop, so provide your guests with a place to keep their personal items that will be out of your child’s reach.
  • When hosting or attending parties, make sure that alcoholic beverages are kept up high, away from where your toddler can reach them. Small children don’t care about germs and, if thirsty, will just help themselves without concern for whose cup they’re taking or what the contents are. The same goes for bowls of nuts or hard candy. These are choking hazards, but are very appealing to toddlers. Ask the hostess if you can put the bowls up high if you aren’t able to watch your child every minute.
  • Watch out for candles. Flickering flames are mesmerizing to little ones, and you don’t want any burns or house fires! Flameless candles are a safer option, but if you are using real candles, keep them away from the edges of countertops or tables, and watch your child carefully.
  • Keep a close eye on your Christmas tree. When our children were little, we gave up on having glass ornaments; it wasn’t worth the risk that they’d shatter and cut little hands or feet. Put only unbreakable ornaments on the tree, at least on the branches which are at toddler-level. Use the strings to hang them instead of wire hangers, which can be played with or even choked on. If your toddler is really adventurous, you may need to get a small tree and put it up on a table, or use a few baby gates to block your child’s access to the tree.
  • If your child has any allergies or dietary restrictions, be sure to let people know when you attend gatherings. As the parent of a shellfish-allergic child, I always had to be very careful at holiday gatherings. All it would take is one person handing my child a shrimp off of a cocktail ring, and it would be an emergency room visit for sure!
  • Avoid keeping poisonous plants in your house. Some popular plants and flowers that are used as decorations this time of year, including poinsettia, mistletoe and holly, are toxic if ingested.

All in all, watching your child carefully is the best way to keep him safe this holiday season. Since no parent can keep an eye on a child every minute, though, try to toddlerproof as much as possible, both at your own home and when visiting others.

What other types of toddlerproofing have you found helpful during this time of year?

Comments (28)

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  1. Liza says:

    Love your tips!

  2. Jenn says:

    I dont have to worry so much about toddlers anymore, it’s all the pets I have to keep out of the decorations around the holidays. The cats love climbing inside the tree and the dog will piddle around the trunk.

  3. Lindsay says:

    It is harder during the holidays! I’m not sure how my 22-month-old will react to our Christmas tree!

  4. Toni Cosgrove says:

    Also, keep an eye on the wire hangers for ornaments ..many kids and pets have choked on these. Another thing is please keep your lighter and matches also lit candles away from where kids will be…they move candles and tip them. They also try to light the candles as they seen parents do…..even older kids will do this.Thank you for all the tips..its something many dont think about but should!

  5. Karen Glatt says:

    My sister has small children and I am always concerned about them getting into trouble when they come over! I make sure to put things up,and I have some gates that I put up to keep them in the area so I can see them. It pays to make sure the kids are okay when I am visiting with my sister!

  6. Olya Shem says:

    When I had kids I immediately got rid of all my glass ornaments and got shatterproof ones. I didn’t even think about asking family to keep their medicine out of reach. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Diana Heiner says:

    Thanks for the tips I have 2 small and very active little girls who love EVERYTHING christmas!

  8. Harry Septonadi says:

    great advice. . this is a must do, I think.

  9. Kelvin Justine says:

    Safe is the best way to enjoy the party!

  10. Renata Lopes says:

    Loved the tip thanks for sharing.

  11. LAMusing says:

    Good tips! Now can you do one on pet proofing? 🙂

  12. pisa l. says:

    Great tips thanks for sharing. I have a lil one that loves to pull the ornaments and candy canes of the christmas tree.

  13. Rebecca Sinclair says:

    good thoughts – candles especially make me nervous. I’m always on the lookout with kids and candles.

  14. Dorothy Boucher says:

    thanks for the review, i like to think that i child proof my home as well as make it safe for my animals.. so many things the little hands can get into , safety is always a first here in my home..

  15. denise smith says:

    great tipa thansk so much

  16. Bill Elliott says:

    Thanks for the great review, with seven Grandchildren I ma always looking
    for ways to keep them safe.

  17. thanks for the tips1 I have a toddler this year so they’re good to know! We ade sure to put all shatterproof ornaments on the tree at the bottom and the breakables at top 🙂

  18. Kristi Cartwright says:

    I need to remember this post next year when I will have a little one who may very well be walking–he is due in 7 weeks! 🙂

  19. Rebecca W. says:

    Lol, I’ll have to toddlerproof next Christmas. Should be fun… (sarcasm)

  20. Kelly H. says:

    I just don’t bother to put anything on the tree but lights anymore.

  21. diane grubbs says:

    Thanks for sharing this info 😉

  22. melynnie hashmi says:

    thank you for the awesome tips,this is my little ones first christmas and safety was important to me.

  23. Natalie says:

    This is perfect! Thank you! We have been having to basically remove EVERYTHING from our living room because the little keeps getting into everything!

  24. Shannon Bartley says:

    My biggest problem is my tree and I’m losing the war lol my cat and 3 yr old are sooo winning. Top looks great bottom looks bad.

  25. alena svetelska says:

    it is definetly hardly on holidays when we r bust cleaning,cooking and decorating…awesome tips thanks!

  26. Daisy's Reviews says:

    thanks for sharing

  27. danielle says:

    these are great tips and ideas! 🙂

  28. I do, I do Love your blog! Ok, Xmas is over, but the Super Bowl is sunday. It’s a good time to RT this one to DADs with beer and smokes – can’t ever be to cautious!

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