Christmas – like any religious holiday or event – is a busy time, whether you’re shopping for presents, putting up your decorations, preparing for visitors or planning a delicious feast. We all want to create the perfect day for our little ones, however in the excitement of the festive period, preventable accidents can easily happen.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoPSA) offer a range of helpful advice and tips on how to keep your children safe during the festive season. Here are some things to look out for:
- Buying and receiving presents: Think where you are buying your presents from. Good and well-known retailers will have toys that meet all the required safety standards. It may be tempting to buy cheaper items, but these could potentially be illegally imported. RoSPA has some useful advice on toy safety and what to look out for. Make sure all toys are age appropriate and do not contain small parts which young children could easily choke on.
- Be aware of the dangers of button batteries: As well as inside toys and gadgets, button batteries can be found in many novelty Christmas items such as flashing Christmas cards, musical Santa hats and festive tea lights. If swallowed, they can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, to young children. Toys bought online or from markets, discount stores or temporary shops may not always follow toy safety regulations (for example, they may not have a screw-down cover), meaning that the battery is easily accessible to children. For more information and advice, download CAPT’s poster – Button Batteries – Where are yours?
- Check your decorations: Whilst children love helping with the decorations, remember to keep metal, sharp or breakable tree decorations with small removable parts away from young children. Ensure that your tree is placed away from high traffic areas and doorways and is well-secured in a sturdy stand and away from radiators, stoves/ovens, fireplaces and burning candles. If you have older fairy lights, it is recommended you consider buying a new set which are British Safety Standard approved. Always use indoor lights for indoors and outdoor lights for outdoors – they are designed differently. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service offers some additional advice on how to prevent a fire during the festive season.
Further information is available via the following links:
- Christmas safety:
- Toy safety: www.rospa.com/en/Home-Safety/Advice/Product/Toy-Safety
- Fire Checks of Christmas: www.esfrs.org/your-safety/safer-homes/fire-checks-of-christmas