Plants (like mistletoe, holly, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis) are toxic if eaten.
Bubble lights contain a chemical that’s harmful if swallowed or gets on the skin. Keep these out of reach even if labeled “nontoxic.”
Snow sprays are hazardous if the powder is swallowed or the aerosol is sprayed into the eyes or on the skin.
If you think your child was poisoned, call your doctor or the National Poison Center, (800) 222-1222, right away.
Preventing Fire Mishaps
Make sure that smoke alarms are working before decorating for the holidays.
Turn off holiday lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
Keep your natural tree:
watered, as a dry tree can more easily catch fire
secured in a sturdy stand so that it doesn't tip over
away from all heat sources, such as electrical outlets, radiators, and portable space heaters
If you buy an artificial tree, be sure it's labeled "fire-retardant."
When using candles:
Keep lit candles away from Christmas trees.
Stay in the room when candles are lit. Supervise kids around them.
Blow out candles before going to bed.
Don't overload indoor or outdoor electrical outlets.
Check wires for fraying or damage.
Have your fireplace inspected before you light your first fire of the season. A chimney professional can clean your fireplace and ensure that it is safe to use. Use a sturdy fireplace screen when burning fires. Never burn paper or pine boughs, because they can float out of the chimney and ignite a nearby home or your own roof.
Have a family emergency plan in the event of a fire.
Food and Drink Safety
A lot of cooking goes on during the holiday season, so be sure to prevent burns:
Cook on the back burners when you can, and turn pot handles away from the front of the stove.
Always keep the oven door closed.
Keep kids away from the oven while you bake or cook.
Keep kitchen appliances clean to prevent potential grease or other fires.
Other food and drink tips to keep in mind:
Party favorites like bowls of nuts or candies can be a choking hazard for little kids. Keep these items up and out of reach.
Alcohol poisoning is a common risk for children during the holiday season. Remove all empty and partially empty cups as soon as possible. Kids copy adults so may drink the beverages they see adults drinking. For children, even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous.
To prevent food poisoning, practice food safety. Wash hands, utensils, dishes, and anything else that comes in contact with raw meat (including poultry and fish) and raw eggs before and after use. Don't contaminate a serving dish with raw meat. Store leftovers properly and heat them well before serving.