Christmas Trees are a major staple in most homes around the holidays. To a small child, a Christmas Tree is high gleaming beacon of “No No’s.” When I put it up, there’s always a little bit of hesitancy because I know, I’m going to have to watch it like a hawk. If a child is missing out of the room, it’s almost certain that they’ve found the tree. Then I wonder what they’re chewing on, hmm… Oh, no! That’s baby Jesus’ head! Take some of the worry and stress of your shoulders, with these Christmas Tree Safety Tips For Kids.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips for Kids
There are 3 major concerns I think of when I think of a Christmas Tree, and kids. The concerns are, choking, electrocution, and being crushed by it falling over. No one really likes to think about these things, but they need to be addressed.
Choking is a real concern with a decorated tree. As much as it might sound like a good idea to flood your tree with marble sized fake plastic berries, it isn’t. The goal is to eliminate the risk to begin with, but if you’re already dead set on your small bobbles, then make sure they’re at least out of reach. That means half of your tree might be a little bare, but that’s better than a trip to the ER. Whatever ornament is within reach needs to be child friendly. I know when I was little I would sneak down to the tree, and remove the ornaments I thought were pretty, then proceeded to play with them in my room, sometimes accidentally breaking off fragile parts then putting them back on the tree like nothing happened. Luckily I didn’t have the urge to put the parts in my mouth, but not all kids think the same way (sometimes that shiny bell looks pretty tasty to suck on).
Large ornaments that aren’t fragile, with no moving parts are the best. They sell large plastic balls, and also snowflakes that are one piece, but whatever you can find that looks safest is your best bet. As much as I hate to say it, there’s also a choking hazard with the lights, they’re easily removed when pulled on, so be cautious with this knowledge. There have been years where part of our tree was bare, but honestly, it was worth it.
It’s not the twinkling lights itself that are going to be the electrocution risk, the real danger is the overloaded extension cord, packed with plugs. The easiest way to keep it out of your child’s mind, is to have it out of site. Any cords that are visible need to be repositioned. Also, it’s best to have the tree very close to an outlet, so cords don’t have to travel far. This also helps with tripping risks. It would be pretty horrifying to see uncle Richard waddling in the front door with a armful of presents then taking the tree down with him as he loudly tumbles to the ground.
Have you ever seen a fully decorated tree topple over? I’m not going to lie, it’s a jaw dropping moment. That jaw dropping moment could be disastrous if your little one is in front of it. Christmas trees aren’t the most sturdy item, but there’s a few ways to make it considerably less likely to tumble. The first is to make sure it has a wide base. Buy a tree base that has wide, and long legs (this can all be hidden with a skirt). The second, is to anchor the tree to the wall. Even a rope tied around the tree, then hooked on the wall will make it less of a risk. The third is to place your tree in a corner, out of the way so people are less likely to bump into it. Making the tree sturdier, really is a good idea.
There’s no perfectly safe tree, but there are ways to reduce the risks of destruction, and injury. Following these tips can ease the sheer terror of a toddler getting out of site around Christmas. The one thing to remember is to be smart, being smart will lead you to find the troublesome areas of your tree. Think like a little one, and even get down on their level to analyze potential risks. Christmas is a time of joy and happiness, and tree safety helps keep it that way.