The holiday season is lots of fun for adults and children alike, but there’s a lot to consider when transforming your home into a winter wonderland. Here are a few simple safety guidelines to follow while enjoying the holidays with your immediate and extended family.

Trimming the tree
Nothing is quite as symbolic as a well-decorated tree all lit up for the season. If your family celebrates the holidays with a Christmas tree, there may be a few safety precautions to consider before you start the trimming.

The first thing to consider is the tree itself. Christmas trees, both real and artificial, can present certain risks in the home. When selecting your tree for the year, pay attention to the condition of the needles. Trees that are too dry may wither before the season is through, many may also pose a fire hazard. If your family uses an artificial tree, make sure to get one that’s labeled “fire resistant.”

When pulling out your decorations, consider family members in the household. If you have toddlers and young children, you may wish to consider forgoing breakable ornaments, or at least hanging them near the top of the tree where they can’t be easily grasped. Ensuring that light strings and garlands are similarly out of reach may also keep the tree from tumbling down should a wayward child wish to give them a tug.

Family pets may also be a factor in your tree decorating decisions. Keeping favorite ornaments away from low branches where a curious pooch may sniff about or strike with an excited wag of the tail may help preserve them for another year. Frisky felines have also been known to explore Christmas trees, and have been responsible for their share (or more!) of broken ornaments.

Surviving the holiday parties
If your home is the place where all the family members will gather, think about the different types of guests you expect to receive. Family members with young children may appreciate you taking a few steps to baby-proof your space by removing breakables from low shelves and designating a “smoking area” to keep fumes away from younger partygoers.

If you’re spending the holidays elsewhere, bear in mind that other homes may not be baby-proofed. Keep an eye on your child at all times to prevent him or her from grabbing those breakables or getting into cabinets, ashtrays and other undesirable areas. Check with your hosts to see if there’s an area meant for children.

When visiting, it’s also important to remember that children’s stress levels may run higher than usual when they’re taken out of their normal routine. Make sure they’re provided with snacks and meals at regular intervals, and if they’re accustomed to napping at a certain hour, try to work this into your holiday schedule.

If you decide to leave the children at home while attending a party, make sure that the babysitter has quick access to all emergency numbers they might need, including police and fire departments, a poison control center, your cell phone and – of course – the local pizzeria.

Checking new toys for safety hazards
Every child’s favorite part of the holiday season is, of course, the presents. However, before you let your little ones play with their newly acquired booty, check all products for age limits and potential safety issues, such as choking hazards. You’ll look a lot more fondly over the scene of your children happily playing with new toys when you know they’re safe.

Don’t forget that the holiday season is also cold and flu season. Make sure to keep play areas clean and sanitized, and keep sick children away from others if they’re likely to spread the illness. They’ll feel better after taking their medication and getting a lot of rest.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that make taking medicine easier for children. Ask your pharmacist how to get FLAVORx for your child.