As Boris Johnson recently said, “‘tis the season to be jolly, but ‘tis also the season to be jolly careful.”
The excitement of Christmas can cause more accidents than usual at home, but with a little forward planning and an extra bit of care, there’s no reason why Christmas mishaps can’t be avoided. We’ve put together a quick guide to help, all you need to remember is our Christmas C.A.R.O.L.
C – Stands for Christmas Tree
A – Stands for Age-range
R – Stands for Reactions
O – Stands for Organised
L – Stands for Lighting
‘C’ Stands for Christmas Tree
If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure you’re diligent in picking up the pine needles that might fall. Pine needles are small and sharp, which makes them particularly hazardous to little ones. Even trees that claim to not drop needles tend to sprinkle a few, especially as the big day draws closer, although watering your tree daily and placing it in a cool area of your house will help with this.
When decorating your tree, consider hanging the most delicate glass baubles out of reach (or not having any glass baubles at all). Babies and small children are naturally drawn to highly colourful and beautifully decorated Christmas objects, and their instinct is usually to place these objects in their mouths. Decorations that are lower down the tree should therefore be age-appropriate for your little one.
For toddlers starting to pull themselves up, Christmas trees create a ‘topple risk’. Installing a small fence or fire gate around your tree will not only protect them, but it’s likely to keep your tree (and the lower decorations in particular) safe from damage too.
‘A’ Stands for Age-range
When it comes to Christmas shopping, make sure you buy children's gifts for the correct age group, from reputable retailers, and ensure they comply with safety standards. If your little one will be receiving an electronic device for Christmas, make yourself aware of privacy settings and safeguarding before they open their gift. This ensures they aren’t able to access content online that isn’t age-appropriate.
‘R’ Stands for Reactions
With festive treats often within arm's reach, it's more important than ever to check labels for any allergens. If your little one, or a guest, has any allergies, make sure you read the packaging carefully. Christmas is often the time of year the house fills up with yummy (often nut-filled) snacks, and if these aren’t your usual go-to products, it makes it even more important to double-check the labels.
Reactions to food also apply to your family pets, as foods like chocolate, onions and raisins are all poisonous to dogs. You can find out more information on the Blue Cross website: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/christmas-dangers-dogs
RoSPA advises that medicines are one of the main causes of poisoning in children, and visitors who leave handbags on the floor may be to blame if they carry medication with them. With coughs, colds and flu being rife during the winter, be vigilant in moving any source of medication away from curious little hands.
‘O’ Stands for Organised
Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing and MasterChef-style pressure. Keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen - not only do ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ but it also makes the kitchen more hazardous.
‘L’ Stands for Lighting
Christmas lights are beautiful and make the season sparkle. However, lights that have been packed away all year might not still be safe to use. Consider buying new lights, which will meet higher safety standards.
Finally, remember to switch them off and unplug Christmas tree lights when you go to bed, and when you leave the house.
We hope our Christmas C.A.R.O.L will help you and your loved ones have a safe and festive Christmas season!