Christmas decorations can be harmful to little ones

Doctor warns of holiday hazards


SAN ANTONIO – Colorful Christmas decorations add to the holiday cheer, but that merry mood won't last long if you don't take care to keep little ones a safe distance from the Christmas tree.

"Kids three and under are at the highest risk for swallowing things that are small," said Dr. Shahed "Sky" Izaddoost.

The biggest culprit on a Christmas tree is also the most obvious -- from the hook, that could be a choking hazard, to the ornament itself that could shatter.

"Watch out for smaller ornaments. Make sure they're bigger, so they can't be taken off easily," Izaddoost said.

While shiny decorations look pretty, they're also attractive to toddlers.

"Things like tinsel can be really dangerous because it's easily swallowable. We do a good job of keeping our kids from the Christmas tree but the bigger problem is (if) this ends up on the floor (or) stuck to something that you have and then it ends up stuck to the baby's crib somehow," Izaddoost said.

Christmas lights are relatively safe, unless one comes loose.

Izaddoost said she recommends making sure they're secure.

And, last but not least, the Christmas tree.

Make sure your tree is fresh. An older tree is brittle and can easily catch fire.

If you're tree is fake, make sure it's flame-retardant.