SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Christmas is filled with wonder, especially for little kids.
“He’s more into the ornaments this year, there’s one on there that looks like donuts so that ones interesting to him,” Sioux Falls mom Jessi Skoglund said.
But when littles like two-year-old Otto, are still learning to explore their surroundings, the holiday season can also come with some challenges.
“We’ve always done a real tree, but this year, we’re kind of extra careful since he’s up and about, making sure that it’s not tipping on him, so we secured ours to the window so it wouldn’t be falling,” Skoglund said.
“During the holiday season when you have other things out than what they’re used to seeing, they’re definitely going to be even more curious about figuring out what those things are and how they work,” Nancy Raethers, a Community Programs Coordinator at Sanford Health’s CHILD Services said.
Raethers helps parents make sure their homes are safe all year through a grant from the United Way.
“That allows us to come into people’s homes to do a free safety consultation with parents in their homes or over the phone. And if you do that you also get a few free safety items for your house,” Raethers said.
But during the holidays, she recommends some extra safety precautions for homes with young kids.
“Think about those little batteries, think about those decorations or other items that are possibly breakable, if they are breakable and a child was to get that into their grasp, they tend to try to figure out what those things do or what they might taste like,” Raethers said.
As long as decorations and cords are put up out of a child’s reach, Raethers says most decorations are still safe.
“As long as you’re thinking bout where to place those items,” Raethers said. “But you might have some items that you might have to wait to put out for another year.”
It’s a lesson the Skoglunds learned early this Christmas when Otto was admiring his favorite Vikings ornament.
“That was a breakable one, so we learned our lesson early when that one broke,” Skoglund said. “That’s why all the breakable ones are at the top now.”
While having children may mean decorating a little differently for the holidays, Skoglund says their excitement certainly makes the season brighter.
“Like right when we woke up to all this snow this morning, he’s saying, ‘mommy the trees are buried’; so just a new perspective and new appreciation for everything winter and everything Christmas,” Skoglund said.
If you’re traveling or visiting family members’ homes this Christmas, Sanford’s child safety experts recommend calling ahead to remind your loved ones you have a little one who likes to get into things so they can plan ahead too.