The holidays are filled with excitement and joy - but this joy can turn to tragedy in a matter of seconds.   We are all so giddy with the near constant seasonal celebrations that we often forget that simple decorations and religious objects can be so dangerous - and while we certainly don't want to dampen our holiday cheer, at NJ Kids we care too much our children and yours that we want to step aside from our usual light-hearted letter and remind ourselves about a few very important holiday safety tips:
  1. christmas tree orgnamentIf you purchase a live Christmas tree, make sure to remove dead pine needles frequently and to water daily.  Use a wide base stand - this will keep the tree more stable and prevent it from falling over.
  2. If you have an artificial tree, check to see if it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
  3. Children are fascinated by candles - so don't forget to push the menorah and Kwanzaa Kinara far back on the counter and place any decorative candles on high shelves. Keep candles away from trees and any drapery.
  4. Make sure the tree isn't blocking any exits - and it's always a good time to review exit routes with our children in case of a fire.
  5. Replace any decorative bulbs that are broken or shattered - and always turn off the lights when you leave the house or go to bed.
  6. Make sure you only use labelled indoor lights on an inside tree.
  7. Candy canes and other holiday goodies can be choking hazards - keep them out of reach of young children and off the tree.  
  8. Keep mistletoe and holly out of reach - the berries can be very poisonous
  9. Don't forget to open the flue on the fireplace - the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases dramatically during winter months
  10. Keep all alcoholic beverages out of reach - kids don't know the difference and little ones, especially, will try anything.

So, from our family at NJ Kids to yours - stay safe and enjoy the holiday season.  (Now back to fun!  Scroll down and you'll get a sampling of what's happening this week, plus other great tips and ideas!)

The NJ KIDS Team