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Have a Merry and Safe Christmas

Written by Naomi Cooper, at Mini First Aid Suffolk 

Christmas is the perfect excuse to make your home your very own Christmas wonderland and create some new family traditions. But, if you have little ones, then there are a few things you need to be aware of. Here is our guide to a safe Christmas with your cheeky little elves…

Deck the halls with boughs of holly…?

Maybe not. We all love to decorate our homes with festive decorations and even the traditional holly and ivy, but when you have little ones you need to be cautious. Holly berries are actually poisonous for people and pets and even the leaves can be poisonous, although they are so prickly that little ones don’t tend to try them! If you really can’t live without it then it is best to hang it up far out of reach of little hands and remove any berries before hanging, as they often drop from the branches over time and could easily be picked up off the floor and eaten before you realise. 

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree… 

Christmas tree decorations are often quite small and might present a choking hazard for little ones who like to explore everything with their mouths. Anything small enough to fit in their mouths is a potential hazard and need to be packed away again until your little elves are older, or positioned high up and out of their reach.Consider whether larger decorations could be easily pulled apart by a toddler and whether the smaller pieces could then become a choking hazard e.g. small buttons or pom-poms. And avoid very delicate glass decorations too.

All I want for Christmas is… safe toys!

Decorations aren’t the only potential choking hazard at Christmas. If you have older children too, they probably have lots of lovely toys on their Christmas lists with little parts. Lego, Sylvanian Families, Barbie dolls etc all come with small pieces that can easily become a choking hazard if left where baby can find them. Encourage your older children to play with them up on the dining table or in their bedrooms away from little ones who might like to chew them! Unfortunately lots of children’s toys now contain button batteries which are the tiny circular, flat batteries which are extremely dangerous if swallowed. Often the manufacturer will provide spare batteries for your convenience but these are very hazardous if left lying around, so be extra vigilant on Christmas day to make sure you quickly collect any spare button batteries out of the packaging and put them away in a high cupboard out of reach. Even better, remove the spare batteries from the packet before you wrap the gift so you can relax on Christmas day.

Driving home for Christmas?

If you are visiting family and friends this Christmas, then it is a good idea to take stair gates with you to keep your little one safe over the festive period. It might feel like an imposition to ask your loved ones to install a stair gate, but it will make a huge difference to your stress levels if you know your little one can’t climb up or down the stairs on their own. If you choose pressure fit stair gates then they are easy to put up and take down and they shouldn’t leave a mark on your host’s stairs. 

If you end up hosting Christmas this year then don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to look after your little one while you wrestle with the turkey. The kitchen is one of the most hazardous rooms in the house and the last thing you want to be doing on Christmas day is worrying about little children getting stepped on or burning themselves on the oven or getting their hands on the carving knife. You need them out of harms way and playing with the in-laws so you can lovingly (and safely!) prepare the Christmas feast.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

However you are celebrating Christmas, we wish you all a happy and safe one with your nearest and dearest. By putting in place a few safety measures now, you will be free to relax and enjoy every moment together.

For more information about Mini First Aid Suffolk, visit www.suffolk.minifirstaid.co.uk