Families with twins, triplets or other multiples must be extra cautious to carefully childproof their homes However, the holiday season brings hidden hazards. Make sure your happy holidays aren't ruined by accident or injury. Follow these simple guidelines and tips to ensure that your holiday tree is safe and secure.
Choosing A Safe Tree
- Freshness counts. Choose the freshest tree available. Buy trees from local suppliers; trees that are trucked in from faraway have spent more time in transit and won't be as fresh.
- Use your senses to evaluate a tree. Sniff for a fragrant aroma, look for intense green color, and feel for moist, pliable branches and needles. There should be no evidence of drying or browning. Avoid trees with broken branches or damaged bark.
Securing The Tree
- If there is a chance that your twins or triplets may try to climb the tree or knock it over (don't laugh -- it has happened to the best of us!), then consider securing the tree to the wall or ceiling. Use fire safe materials, such as wire or nylon rope. Secure the tree to a sturdy attachment such as a toggle bolt or heavy duty hook. Use a broad, heavy-duty base to hold the tree upright.
- To keep busy hands off the tree, consider placing the tree in a playpen, out of reach on a tabletop (best for small trees). One year we surrounded the base of the tree with playard panels. We hung child-friendly garland, bows and nonbreakable ornaments on the panels to make them look more festive and less plastic.
- Trim the points from any lower branches that might be at eye level for young twins or triplets.
- Once your tree is secure, hang fragile, dangerous and irreplaceable ornaments up high, out of the reach of little fingers. Or, keep those special heirloom ornaments in the box and wait for a holiday when your twosome or threesome will be old enough to appreciate them. Even though it's hard to believe now, you won't always need to childproof your holidays.
- Place a tree away from any potential heat sources -- radiators, fireplaces, candles, heating registers and appliances.
- Use only fire safe items to decorate the tree. NEVER use lit candles on a Christmas tree.
- Replace worn or damaged lights. Don't overload circuits by connecting too many strands.
- Provide ample water. A freshly cut tree can drink up to a gallon of water the first day. Add water daily as needed to keep the tree from becoming dry, brittle and flammable.
- Turn off tree accessories when members of the household are asleep or away.
- Make sure a properly operating smoke detector is in close proximity to the tree.
- Dispose of the tree promptly and properly after the holidays are over.
Keeping The Tree Fire-Safe
Fire safety should be of utmost concern when a Christmas tree becomes part of your household decor.