Ten Tips to Child-Proof Your Home for the Holidays


Dr. Gina Boutwell, Pediatrician at South Shore Medical Center

Gina Boutwell, MD, Pediatrician

It’s that time of year again!

The holidays have arrived and homes are decorated with Christmas trees, mistletoe, candles, menorahs and holiday mementos and ornaments. But it’s important to always think about how these items can turn into hazards for your children and young guests.

Here are some ways in which you can balance a festive home with keeping everyone safe and happy this time of year:

  1. Surround your Christmas tree with large boxes disguised as presents to keep young children away from low hanging ornaments.
  2. Secure your Christmas tree to a wall with a hook and fishing line to avoid any tip overs.
  3. Avoid real mistletoe. The berries—which look tasty to kids—are poisonous. Many stores sell child-safe, fake mistletoe to hang up so you can still get that kiss.
  4. Save holiday tablecloths until the last minute. Little kids can pull on them and bring down plates, flower arrangements and candles on top of their heads.
  5. Keep lit menorahs out of reach. You can also purchase ones with electric bulbs instead of real candles.
  6. Check your child’s gifts before handing them over. Not every gift-giver knows what toys are safe for children.
  7. Take care with the eggnog. To a child, spiked eggnog looks just like milk, so be careful about where you put it out for holiday gatherings.
  8. Keep bowls of nuts or small candies out of reach. They are choking hazards for little ones.
  9. Glass ornaments on top. Little kids love to grab shiny, pretty things, so switch out glass ornaments for kid-safe plastic ones on the bottom half of your Christmas tree.
  10. Candles and fragile decorations should go up high on your mantelpiece where your guests can view them but children can’t reach them.

We hope you will post your own holiday child-proofing tips on our South Shore Hospital Babies page on Facebook, and have a safe and happy holiday season!


Learn more about Primary Care at South Shore Health.