A huge part of getting ready for Christmas is decorating the inside and outside of your home. If you have kids, pets, or both, you are no doubt aware of their attraction to these sparkly, shiny, and musical items. While you certainly want every person and animal in your home to enjoy the season and all its trimmings, taking Christmas tree safety into consideration is important because it will keep your little ones and your furry friends from being hurt this holiday season.
Before your open the boxes of ornaments and set up the tree, think about the personalities of your pets and your children. You can get your kids involved in decorating, which gives you plenty of opportunities to talk about staying safe around the tree.
If need be, you can put your pets in another room or the backyard, if it’s warm enough, to keep them out of the way and prevent them from getting hurt. Likewise, you can also wait to put the tree up until after the kids are in bed if you feel like they will play unsafely with the ornaments, lights, or tree.
Placement of tree ornaments
With small kids and pets in the house, the temptation to touch the tree and its ornaments will be nearly constant, so think carefully about where you’ll hang the ornaments. Put unbreakable ones without small pieces toward the bottom, so your kids won’t be at risk of choking or breaking a family heirloom.
For pets, keep ornaments high enough that they can’t bat them off the tree and break them. Be sure to keep lights out of reach of both kids and pets to prevent electric shocks. Use an electric-safe repellent spray to keep pets from chewing on light cords. Avoid tinsel, which poses a choking risk to both animals and children.
Around the tree
Once you have your tree set up, make sure there isn’t anything nearby that your kids or pets can climb or jump on. This ensures that your ornaments stay safe, but it also prevents the tree from tipping over and hurting your little ones or your furry friends.
If you can’t clear a wide space around the tree, use a gate to keep kids and pets from getting too close. Put a tree skirt over the tree stand to deter kids and animals from crawling under the tree and knocking it over. If you have a live tree, the skirt also helps keep pets from drinking dirty water that could make them sick.
If all else fails, consider a tabletop tree or a decorative window wreath until your kids are older and able to handle having a tree in the house. This can also keep pets from damaging your favorite decorations. Here’s to a happy and safe holiday season.