How to Toddler Proof Your Christmas Tree

Toddlers are naturally drawn to the bright colors and shiny decorations on Christmas trees. The height of the tree and the characteristics of its ornamentation can pose dangerous hazards to young children. Toddler proof your Christmas tree to make sure your young children enjoy the holiday in a secure environment.

Steps

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    Select either an artificial tree or a natural tree that is young and healthy.
    • Run your hands across the branches of natural trees to make sure large clumps of needles do not fall off. These are choking hazards for toddlers and are also an indicator of poor health.
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    Display your tree in a base that is either secured to the wall or is wide, heavy and stable.
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    Select toddler-friendly ornaments for the bottom of the tree while keeping breakable ornaments toward the top.
    • Ornaments at the bottom of the tree should not be glass or ceramic and should be large enough that they can't be swallowed. Make sure any painted ornaments are hung high on the tree, since the paint can be toxic if your toddler puts them in her/his mouth.
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    Apply minimal decorations.
    • The more ornamentation on your tree, the more tempting it will be for your toddler. Avoid overusing strands of lights, garland, tinsel, icicles and ribbon.
    • Tinsel is a choking hazard, so if you choose to use it only apply it to the part of the tree your toddler cannot reach.
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    Instruct your toddler not to touch the tree.
    • If your toddler does not understand, or chooses not to obey your request, you may decide to place a baby gate around your tree or position furniture in a way that blocks access.
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    Vacuum frequently around the tree to make sure no fallen needles are on the ground, since they are a choking hazard if ingested.
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    Finished.

Tips

  • Hang ornaments with short strands of ribbon instead of hooks to prevent your toddler from poking himself or swallowing a sharp hook.
  • Look for low-voltage LED lights, as these are less likely to become hot to the touch. Also try to find lights that are labeled "lead free." If you cannot find lead-free lights, string them high enough that your toddler cannot touch them or put them in her mouth.
  • If you have trouble finding ornaments that are safe to be placed toward the bottom of the tree, craft homemade ornaments with your toddler's help and allow her or him to help trim the tree.

Warnings

  • Do not keep open flame candles on or near your tree, as they present a fire hazard when near a flammable object like a natural or artificial tree.
  • Avoid displaying authentic mistletoe, holly or poinsettias on the tree or in other areas of the home. These can cause poisoning or irritation if ingested by a toddler.
  • Select an artificial tree if your child is prone to allergies.

Article Info

Categories: Christmas Trees