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This year the holidays will look different for many as a result of COVID-19. Whether your family has the opportunity to celebrate together in-person or via Zoom this year, the truth is we’ll all be home more.

Because of this, it’s important to remember that the holidays are as important a time as any to make sure you observe safe habits and childproof your home.

Below are some of the top things you should examine in your home ahead of the holidays.

Check your window coverings.

With young relatives eager to explore the house around the holidays, it’s important to ensure that you’re using only cordless window coverings. Make sure to replace any corded window coverings with their safer counterparts such as those marked with the Best For Kids™ label.

Any new window covering should either be cordless or have cords that are inaccessible to young children to prevent any strangulation hazards.

Keep decorations and ornaments out of reach.

While your holiday decorations may help bring a festive and fun atmosphere to your home, it’s important to keep them out of reach of young children. Those cheerful decorations may have sharp edges, loose parts, open flames or be made of dangerous materials such as glass, which can be a safety hazard if broken.

Also, try to avoid any decorations that may look like food or candy, while you know the difference between your decorations and tasty holiday treats, children don’t and may try to ingest something they shouldn’t. This also includes real mistletoe, while the red berries may look good enough to eat, they’re actually poisonous and not safe for consumption

Check your child’s gifts.

While the gift-giver has good intentions not everyone knows what makes a child-safe present. Check the recommended age listed on the box and, if not safe for your child, exchange for something more age appropriate or tuck it away until they’re old enough to enjoy.

Be careful with open flames.

More than any other time of year, candles and fires in the fireplace evoke a cozy holiday atmosphere. If you choose to burn a candle, make sure that it is safely out of reach of curious hands, even if they climb. If you’re using your fireplace, check that your grate properly prevents your child from gaining access to the flames to appease their curiosity. If neither feels likes a realistic safety precaution for you, perhaps electric candles or a gas fireplace are better options.

Be cautious with your holiday spread

Small snacks like nuts or candy are commonplace during the holiday season. What adults consider to be smaller forms of indulgence during the season can be a choking hazard for children.

Think before you put down any adult beverages as well. Holiday favorites such as spiked eggnog may just look like plain milk to a child.

Don’t set out your Christmas place-setting too early, including your tablecloths. Tablecloth edges are easy for little ones to grab onto and pull, bringing with it whatever foods, dishware and decorations are on top of it.

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