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3 baby-safe tips for decking the halls

The holiday season is an exciting time of year. It's your annual occasion to bake Christmas cookies, go caroling and drink eggnog. Family traditions are strong at this time of year.

When you have a new baby, it can be easy to go about Christmas in the usual way--failing to consider that some of your holiday traditions can pose safety threats to your little bundle of joy.

In today's post, we outline three common causes of infant injury during the holiday season--which are easy to avoid:

Decorations

Christmas decorations are bright and shiny--and therefore very attractive to babies. However, if certain decorations get into your baby's hands, they can cause real harm. String lights are a leading cause of baby injury--not just for the strangulation hazard the string presents, but also for the choking hazard of small bulbs. A baby can easily pluck a bulb from the string and pop it in their mouth. In addition, glass ornaments can cause severe lip and tongue lacerations--if they get into the mouth of an infant. We're not suggesting you forego the Christmas tree this year--just barricade it off, so your baby can't get too near.

Stockings

Soft stockings hung over the mantel may seem harmless enough. However, the fixtures that hold those stockings in place can cause serious damage. Using metal stocking holders can be a recipe for disaster around an infant. If your baby is able to reach a stocking and pull it down, this heavy metal fastener will come tumbling down with it--mostly likely onto your baby's head. This can cause severe head and brain injury. If you hang stockings this year, use traditional nails.

Gifts

After the gifts have been unwrapped on Christmas morning, the array of presents and packaging strewn about the floor can pose real threats to babies. If older children's toys are left in the vicinity of your baby, beware of small pieces or sharp edges that could easily cause injury. Even baby-appropriate toys have the potential to cause harm. Many battery-powered baby toys are packed with a separate set of disc batteries--which can be easily overlooked when opening the present. If your little one discovers and ingests these batteries, they can cause catastrophic damage to their esophagus. Be sure to clean up the area after the gifts are opened.

It's every homeowner's responsibility to take steps to protect the safety of their guests. Follow these recommendations to keep your holiday happy and healthy.

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