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Christmas Trees and Lights: Safety Issues

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 5 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Christmas Tree Light Safety Child

It’s tradition to have a decorated tree with sparkly fairy lights in your house at Christmas and can help produce a magical atmosphere in the home. But as lovely as they are to look at, both Christmas trees and Christmas fairy lights can pose Safety Issues For Young Children.

Christmas Tree Safety

Whether you’re opting for a real Christmas tree or an artificial look-alike, there are safety considerations involved with both.

If you have babies and young children, or pets, then real Christmas trees that drop their needles at the base of the tree will need to be looked after carefully. These needles can pose a danger if they’re picked up, chewed or walked on, and you can guarantee that toddlers (and pets) will hone in on them as they are often interested in anything that appears on the floor.

There are varieties of Christmas tree available that don’t drop their needles, although they may cost more to purchase. Artificial trees are perfect for getting rid of the needle dropping issues, but you still need to be careful with what you put on the tree and where you position it.

It’s lovely to decorate Christmas trees with an array of colourful decorations, but you need to get the balance right. Too many decorations, or decorations that are too heavy, on a small tree, poses the risk of it becoming top-heavy and losing balance.

In addition, sparkly, glittery and colourful decorations are a natural attraction for babies, toddlers and young children who don’t always understand that it’s not a good idea to reach out and pull them. Some Christmas decorations are flimsy and easily breakable, while others – such as baubles – are often made of glass, so can pose a safety risk if they become broken.

Christmas Lights Safety

As well as the decorations, one of the other elements that adds a degree of sparkle and interest to a Christmas tree are the clear or coloured fairy lights. In the same way that children are attracted to the decorations, they’re often attracted to the lights, too.

If light are accidentally pulled by children, then this can bring the Christmas tree toppling over. Most lights, such as electric fairy lights, need to be plugged in to work and, where children are concerned, the wire and cable should be placed well out of reach. If possible, it’s best tucked around at the back of the Christmas tree and hidden out of view, otherwise this can pose an additional safety risk.

Where you position the tree is important, especially where lights are concerned. If you don’t have any space near an electrical socket, then an extension cable or block can be used, but these are both best placed behind other furniture and well out of the reach of inquisitive young hands.

If you don’t have much space available, then a smaller Christmas tree may seem like a safer option, and there’s less damage to be caused if it does get knocked. Just remember to ensure it’s stable and secure if you have it on top of a table, and make sure there aren’t dangling wires or decorations in reach of children.

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