Safer Holiday Celebrations

by Stephanie Wood

Safer Holiday Celebrations

Deck the halls wisely this holiday season:

Stress-free trees

Your tree should be as fresh as possible—a shower of needles when it's shaken is a bad sign—and artificial trees should be labeled fire resistant. Before you decorate it, secure the tree to a wall (wrap a cord around the middle of the trunk and tie it to a hooked nail in the wall).

Trimming tips

Hang ornaments on higher branches so your baby can't reach them; avoid altogether any that look like food. Check that string lights have no frayed cords or broken bulbs.

Plant pointers

Almost all of the season's traditional flora—poinsettias, mistletoe, holly berries, English ivy, Jerusalem cherry, Christmas cherry and amaryllis—are downright poisonous, so keep them out of your little elf's reach and mouth.

Candle caveats

Don't place a lit menorah or any holiday candles within your child's reach or on a tablecloth—your baby could grab the end and pull them over, causing a fire. Never put a lit candle on a Christmas tree.

Presents perfect

Supervise your baby while she opens gifts; ribbons, wrapping paper and bows can be both suffocation and choking hazards.