Winter holiday safety

Relax, have fun and spend time with family and friends. Here are a few tips to make sure you have a happy, healthy and trauma free holiday season.

Holiday Decorations

  • If using a real Christmas tree, make sure it is secure. Water it frequently as it can become a fire hazard if it dries out.
  • Place the Christmas tree away from fireplaces, heaters or other heat sources.
  • Make sure that the Christmas tree lights, Chanukah menorah, or outdoor electric lights are in good working order and are well maintained. Turn them off when leaving the house.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
  • Hang any Christmas decorations or tree ornaments that are fragile or contain small parts out of reach of young children.

Shopping for toys

  • Select toys to suit a child’s age, abilities, skills and interest level. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Watch for small parts: do not give toys with small parts to infants and toddlers. They tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.

Home safety

  • If you visit friends and relatives who have not childproofed their homes, make sure that medication and cleaning supplies are out of reach of your children.
  • Keep plants and poisonous products out of reach of children. If your child ingests a plant or poisonous product, call the Quebec Poison Control Centre at 1-800-463-5060 .
  • New puppies are popular holiday gifts for children but dog bites are common during the holiday season. Remember, pets are not toys. Teach children to respect animal’s space.
  • Keep candles well out of reach of children and far from flammable materials.
  • Avoid placing candles on moveable tables since a child can pull or push the table toward flammable materials.
  • Children should be supervised when lighting candles.
  • Do not carry hot beverages around children.
  • Do not hold a child in your arms while you are cooking.
  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby.


  • Children must be properly restrained in strollers, high chairs or car seats.
  • Never place an infant seat on tables, countertops or car roofs. The safest place is on the floor.
  • Supervise older siblings and children who are holding an infant. They should be sitting down while doing this.

Road safety

When driving to visit friends and relatives:

  • Make sure that car seats and boosters meet approved standards, are properly installed and are the correct model for your child’s age. For specific details on car seats, click here.
  • Children under the age of 13 should not sit in the front seat because they can be seriously injured if the airbag deploys.
  • Everyone must wear his/her own seat belt. Never use one seat belt to secure two children.
  • Adhere to traffic lights and speed limits.
  • Never use your cell phone while driving; all attention should be placed on the road.
This page needs an update? Report it here!