Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

I love the holiday season because it’s a delightful time for my family and I to rejoice in the blessings of the present year and look forward to the year ahead. There is nothing more heartwarming than spending time with family and friends to let them know just how much you truly appreciate them.

My favorite part of the season is decorating for Christmas. Every year, I carefully adorn my house with festive decorations throughout. It’s an exciting and fun pastime that my entire family enjoys, and it really puts us in the Christmas spirit.

When decorating for the holidays, there are many safety issues to consider when you have children running about the house. The last thing any mama wants is for someone to end up getting seriously hurt, or the chance of there being a fire hazard in the home. With that in mind, here are a few safety tips to consider before doing your own holiday decorations.

I love, love–and did I mention love–candles. They’re a cheerful and fragrant addition to the holidays, but left unattended can become a serious hazard if they’re knocked over or little hands mess with them, so this year I am looking into flameless candles. Not only do they smell just as pretty, but I don’t have to worry about burns, fires or wax on my carpets or furniture. Flameless candles are safe to the touch and give off a peaceful glow. If you still have you heart set on real candles, please never leave them unattended, always put the flame out when you’re finished, keep them out of children’s reach and never burn them near anything flammable.

When putting up lights, make sure to always, even if they’re new, inspect the strands for frays, tears or broken bulbs. If there are no worn areas on the strands or broken bulbs, then plug bulbs in to make sure that all lights are in working order. If during your inspection you find anything wrong with your lights, then just replace them and toss out defective strands. Never use nails or tacks when stringing lights throughout your home. Make sure to use hooks or insulated staples, and be sure not to pierce the wires when hanging lights.

If you’re looking for an artificial tree, make sure you find one that is fire or flame resistant to prevent fires. If you’ve decided that you would rather have a live tree, then look for one that’s fresh. When a tree is fresh, the needles are difficult to pull from the branches and should bend between your fingers without breaking. Also, they shouldn’t be losing a lot of needles when you touch or move the tree. Those that lose needles are not as fresh and could be a potential fire hazard. Make sure that the tree stand holds water without leaking and is filled regularly to prevent the tree from drying out in a heated room.

When decking out your Christmas tree, opt for shatterproof ornaments to prevent breakage and glass shards. I’ve found that no matter how much you sweep, many times glass can still find itself in interesting little hiding places. Also, tiny ornaments can be choking hazards for young children. Try to make sure that your ornaments are too large to be ingested and don’t resemble food. Make sure to trim your tree in noncombustible or flame-resistant decorations, so you don’t create one big fire hazard.

These are some ideas that should help to keep your holidays safe and merry. For more great Christmas safety tips like these, check out American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Photo: flickr.com/photos/fbaett/3077544072

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