Holidays can pose dangers to toddlers

Heather Latter

Every parent looks forward to Christmas with their little ones.
But entertaining and decorating certainly takes on a whole new meaning when you have a toddler in the house.
Miranda Sigurdson, a public health nurse with the Northwestern Health Unit, reminds parents that they constantly must be thinking about safety, especially at this time of year.
“Just be extra careful around the holidays because your house might not be as safe as it was before you started decorating,” she noted.
“Always make sure to take extra time to watch your small children,” she stressed.
Sigurdson said decorating the Christmas tree is a prime example where precautions can be taken to minimize the dangers for curious toddlers.
“With Christmas trees, when you have small children crawling and getting around, make sure you don’t decorate the bottom branches of the tree,” she remarked, citing ornaments can cause choking hazards.
In fact, toddlers have been known to eat glass ornaments and many emergency rooms across the country see this every year.
Sigurdson said tree lights also should be kept out of reach of young children and in good repair.
Tinsel and garland should be avoided as decorations because of choking hazards.
“And extra precautions need to be taken with candles, as well,” she remarked.
“People tend to have more candles burning in the house at this time of year, so they need to ensure they are in sturdy candle holders and not being left unattended,” she stressed.
Another possible holiday hazard parents may not be aware of are plants, such as mistletoe and holly berries, which can be dangerous if ingested.
Sigurdson added parents also should be careful with large gifts, like televisions, because there have been incidents of them falling on children.
“Someone should always be designated to watch young children because they can be mischievous and can get into anything,” she warned.