Keeping kids safe around the Christmas Tree

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Decorating your Christmas tree can be fun for the whole family but some of those ornaments can be dangerous to your children and pets. 11 News shares some easy and safe tree decorating tips for the holidays.

Like his mom will tell you, two and a half year old Ryle Bocook gets into everything. “Pretty much anything he's not supposed to," says mom Shannon Bocook. Which means she will be decorating her Christmas tree a bit differently this year. No glass or fragile ornaments allowed. "He climbed up on the counter broke a coffee pot,” says Bocook.

But there are alternatives.

Interior designer and co–owner of Seasons to Follow Natasha Watts says using simple things like garland and ribbon can help fill out a tree and keep the little ones safe at the same time.

"Of course you know they are going to pull them down so it just might as well be soft and something you can just put right back up," says Watts. And that goes for ornaments as well. Watts says, "I wouldn't fasten it on too tight because of course with little ones and even animals they are going to pull." And you don't want them pulling down the entire tree.

But the problem might not be the ornaments themselves. Many come with metal hooks that can poke or puncture. Watts recommends taking those metal hooks off completely. "Use the string that comes with the ornaments," says Watts.

A simple pull test can be used on other decorations. Watts says, "Tug on it just a little bit just to make sure that the kids or an infant might be able to pull it off and put it in their mouth really quick without looking."

And of course the best rule when it comes ornaments, if it can break, you might want to pack it up. "I would just do the whole tree where its safe top to bottom," says Watts.

Good advice says Bocook. "Especially with him, he'll think it's a ball you know, he'll probably crush it or break, step on it."

Because having a Christmas tree shouldn't make you worry but should make you smile, experts also recommend hiding extension cords and plugs where children won't see them. And here's a little tip for those things under the tree. Try double boxing those presents. That way dogs who like to chew on things or kids with curious fingers can't pull the wrapping off and find out what it is before it's time.

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