Christmas decorating is just as significant as gift giving to spread the holiday spirit. All things shiny and sparkly can brighten one’s mood and add excitement to the surroundings. They’re especially a treat to the eyes of a young child. But for safety purposes, some holiday decorations should be avoided because they may be hazardous, particularly to children aged 4 and below.

Here are some of them:

1.       Small decorations and parts. Miniature decorations or big ones composed of tiny parts should be placed out of reach of children. They are choking hazards and may contain sharp edges. Fix loose parts right away so a child won’t find any of them lying on the floor.

2.       Glass ornaments. Forego fragile ornaments for now and just stick to wood or plastic. Glass figurines, snow globes and Christmas tree ornaments such as glass balls, stars, and icicles can easily break when they fall on the floor, even if you have carpeting.

3.       Natural decorations. Mistletoe, Holly, Poinsettia and Christmas trees are the top things you can buy in their natural state to put up as holiday décor. While they look better than their synthetic counterparts, they run potential risks. Some plants can be poisonous when ingested (especially in large quantities). Christmas trees can also be a fire hazard when they turn dry.

4.       Tree preservatives. If you decide to put a preservative on your tree, make sure the container is covered or at least barricaded with an object to deter a curious child. You can use a big gift that’s hard to move or create a wall out of recycled milk gallons (refilled with water).

5.       Candles. It need not be said what kind of hazard candles can bring. The best alternative is to use flameless candles instead. These are battery-operated candles that look and ‘flicker’ like real ones.

6.       Artificial snow. Spray-on snow may be composed of harmful chemicals so they should be avoided. If you absolutely must use it, spray it on areas a child cannot reach. Do the decorating without the child’s presence to prevent inhalation of its fumes.

7.       Glitters. These can be found on many decorating items such as ribbons and ornaments. Greeting cards may also have them. Glitters can irritate the eyes so be sure to put glittery objects away from a child’s reach. Wash the little hands right away in case they accidentally touch glitters – after reading a greeting card, for example.

8.       Fireplace. Remove anything near the fireplace that can rouse a child’s interest such as gifts, socks or the Christmas tree. Don’t let a child get the habit of playing next to the fireplace because of the danger of getting burnt in case it’s lit up.

9.       Gift wrapping. Not all gift wrapping is made of paper. Some may be made of heavier material like foil or plastic. Throw out wrappings immediately after opening any gift to prevent suffocation. Also, just as mentioned above, watch out for glittery wrapping that can irritate the eyes

10.   Tall decorations. If you plan to put up tall decorations like inflatable Santas or big Christmas trees, be sure their bases are secure. Unsteady decorations may easily topple and cause injury especially when a child pulls on them.

Safe Christmas decorations are not hard to find. Just keep away from these things at least until your child is old enough to know not to play with them.