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How to Baby Proof Your Home for the Holidays

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas ...

Make It Festive Trees, garlands, menorahs, lights -- so many colorful, shiny things for baby to explore! You don't have to put a hold on holiday decorations; just take a little extra care. So go ahead: Hang the stockings, trim the tree, light the menorah -- sensibly.

Keep It Safe If you have an artificial tree, make sure it's labeled "fire resistant." When choosing a live tree, find the freshest, greenest one possible (that sticky resin on the trunk is actually a good thing) and don't forget the tap test -- if the tree loses lots of needles when tapped on the ground, move on. Check all lights, whether they're used indoors or outside, to ensure they're in good working order with no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. Keep live trees well-watered, and away from the fireplace, radiator or heater. Never use lighted candles on or near the tree, wreaths or any evergreens. Secure the tree to the wall if possible.

For decorations, stick to flame-resistant, nonbreakable ornaments, and if possible, hang them of baby's reach (ditto for garlands and wreaths). Skip the tinsel, heirloom ornaments and trimmings resembling candy or food. Be vigilant when baby is near the tree; never leave her unattended. Sweep the floor regularly to pick up tree needles, ornament hooks or anything else baby shouldn't put in her mouth. Poinsettias aren't poisonous, but amaryllis, mistletoe and holly are toxic -- your best bet is to display plants up high.

Keep the fire in the fireplace: Turn off all decorative holiday lights, including electric candles and menorahs, before you leave the house or go to bed.

Hassle-Free Holiday Why not try a tabletop tree? It'll be out of reach of exploring hands, and it's much simpler to put up and take down.

 

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