How to Child Proof Your Home for this Year’s Holiday Gatherings

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when we get to celebrate family, friends and good food. Any festive gatherings with lots of young and energetic kids can get loud and chaotic quickly. While kids make the holidays brighter, it is also important to consider their safety during large gatherings in environments that may be unfamiliar to them.

“Small (and curious!) children can easily get lost track of in crowded spaces, loud voices and unfamiliar places” says Carolyn Ziegler, child safety advocate and co-founder of Dreambaby®.  “Equipping your home with child safety products will provide extra security and safety so no one wanders off or has an accident in the midst of the often chaotic fun of family gatherings.”  There is always a lot to think about and prepare for when you host a holiday gathering for family and friends. Adding child safety to your checklist will ensure that even the smallest of guests will stay safe and have fun.

Add “Child Safety” to your hosting checklist:

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire – Set the holiday mood without compromising safety with a warm fire. You can keep everyone safe by ensuring that a heat-suitable gate or playpen is set around the fireplace. It is a convenient way to keep children safe from the heat and flames of a real or gas fire. “Teaching children the word “hot” from an early age is another way to add caution around any potentially hazardous situation where hot liquids, heaters or fireplaces are close “by” says Ziegler.

The First Noel – Is there anyone in your family celebrating their first Christmas? Chances are –  if they are old enough to be crawling and discovering – they will want to stick their little fingers in any unoccupied outlets you have in your home. Using outlet plugs are a quick and inexpensive way to cover outlets that may pose risks to little ones. Simply insert them into the sockets where a cord would go, and you’re set.

outlet plugs

Christmas Tree – It’s safe to say that your Christmas tree will be a magnet for little hands with all of the twinkling lights and fun hanging ornaments. Along with the magic comes lots of electrical cords. “The best way to protect little fingers from electric shocks is with a cord clamp” Ziegler advises. The clamp will help keep extension cord plugs and sockets firmly attached, reducing children’s access to exposed “live” pins and sockets.

cord clamp

Walking in a Winter Wonderland –  Don’t let winter weather hamper your sense of holiday adventure! Investing in a weather shield for your stroller will make sure that little ones don’t miss out on outdoor festivities like Thanksgiving hikes and family football games or your annual Christmas tree hunt.  It’s easy to find universal weather shields like this one that fit over multiple kinds of strollers.

weather shields for strollers

If you are still not sure where to start with your holiday ‘safety proofing’ process, here are 12 questions to ask yourself before you get started:

The Ultimate Holiday Safety Checklist:

  1. Have I checked to make sure that all small, swallowable objects are well out of reach?
  2. Are any glass, breakable, or sharp objects safely out of reach?
  3. Are any unused electrical outlets covered?
  4. Have I fitted locks and latches to any reachable cabinets, drawers and cupboards?
  5. Have I taught my children the importance of ‘stranger danger’ and to never wander off alone?
  6. Can I ensure my children are supervised at all times?
  7. Have I kept all electrical items out of reach?
  8. Have I made sure that windows are safety locked and shut when children are nearby?
  9. Have I safely moved any furniture away from a window, to help prevent children accessing a window opening?
  10. Have I installed corner cushions or bumpers on any furniture with sharp corners?
  11. If I have a balcony, have I secured it shut and prevented children from opening it?
  12. If a night light is being used, have I kept it away from anything potentially flammable?