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A baby-safe home through Christmas

Christmas is a busy time with a flurry of activity, excited children, presents to wrap and guests to welcome. It’s so easy to forget safety in all that excitement, yet so important if festivities aren’t to be cut short by a trip to casualty.

So here’s some thoughts for a very happy and safe Christmas.

  • Christmas trees. A real baby magnet with glitter, lights and shiny baubles. One option is a smaller tree sitting up and out of reach (use a furniture anti tip kit to secure the furniture itself to the wall). Sitting on the floor your tree needs to be stable so it can’t be pulled over by a curious toddler. Use a base with wide legs, or a large pot filled with soil or water. Flashing lights, decorations, tinsel etc. will all quickly go into a child’s mouth. Glass lights and baubles are particularly worrying as they will break into sharp shards as well as present a choke hazard. So fit a fire guard around the tree or put it in a playpen safely out of reach.
  • In all the excitement of opening presents on the big day it’s so easy to get distracted. Packaging and small bits of paper, wire and plastic so easily get dropped on the floor where a baby can find them. Keeping your baby on your lap, and playing baby pass the parcel between adults is the safest option. Distract your baby with a suitable toy, and you’ll be able to enjoy watching the rest of the family open their gifts. Afterwards a quick tidy up is essential, all those choke hazards tidied away so the floor is once again a safe place for your baby to roam.
  • Check that children’s gifts are for the correct age group, are stamped with the CE mark/ comply with the 2011 toy regulations before your child starts playing with them (You never know what a kindly relative may unwittingly have bought). Use the Fred Choke tester to show older children which of their new toys are too small for young ones.
  • Teach them to ‘think safe’, aware of hazards in your home, to keep glasses and hot drinks away from the edge of the table, safety gates closed etc. Download warning stickers to put round the house where you want guests to pay extra attention.
  • When staying away from home remember that stairgates and cupboard locks might not be available. Consider taking Fred adhesive cupboard locks and corner protectors with you that can be installed in seconds yet easily removed with no damage. Babies can be kept away from stairs simply by closing doors.
  • Kitchens are an extremely busy place on Christmas Day yet little ones will want to be around you. Don’t hold your baby while cooking, put someone else in charge of your baby so you can focus on cooking. Avoid burns and scalds by ensuring pots and pans are on the back burner of your hob and by using a Fred Stove and hob guard. Always clear the way before lifting the turkey out the oven.
  • Candles are beautiful, but please don’t leave them unattended, and enjoy blowing them out at the end of the day to seal in those happy memories.