All of the presents you spent countless hours shopping for ― now unwrapped and played with (albeit maybe not for as long as you’d predicted). The stockings are no longer hung by the chimney with care. Another successful holiday, full of memories to cherish.
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It can be easy to breathe a sigh of relief, but pediatrician Purva Grover, MD, cautions that packing up after holiday festivities can present some unexpected hazards, especially when taking ornaments down from the tree.
Glass ornaments, or really cute, fine decorations are things that smaller kids can ingest. Older kids can actually get harmed too, if they’re playing and running around. They might step on them and smash them. And the same goes for our four-legged friends as well – it’s definitely something for parents to think about.
Even not decorating can be a hazard
Likewise, Dr. Grover says while many of us are reluctant to let go of our Christmas spirit, trying to hang on to a live tree for too long can be a serious safety hazard.
“If you see the needles are brown and getting brittle, those have a very high chance of falling off ― causing eye injuries, cuts and bruises,” she says. “I know it’s festive. I know it’s important. But the point at which the tree is now starting to become very dry and brittle, it’s time for us to say bye-bye to it. That’s because even just a little bit of warmth can cause it to catch fire.”
While most families know that it takes a little while to get the house back in order after the holiday rush, Dr. Grover says toys, boxes and wrapping materials left lying around can lead to accidental cuts and scrapes.
It’s also important to discard any plastic bags or wrapping materials promptly, as these can pose a suffocation hazard to small children.
And don’t forget to play safe with those new holiday presents, either
You’ve bought the presents. You’ve wrapped the presents. And you’ve Instagrammed them unwrapping the present. But it’s important that your role isn’t done. Be sure to supervise your kids as they assemble their new toys too.
Many toys designed for older children come with small parts and pieces that can be choking or ingestion hazards for little ones, so be especially careful if you have kids of various ages in your house.
One thing to be especially careful about, she adds, are any toys or gadgets that have button batteries. These items need to be out of reach of little ones, because swallowing a button battery can be dangerous or even fatal.
And lastly, if you’re planning to head outdoors to take down decorations on the house, Dr. Grover reminds parents to be mindful of ladders and make sure their kids aren’t playing around them unsupervised.