Have you decorated your house for Christmas as yet? Decorating the tree is one of those things I’ve been meaning to get too but it never seems to happen. So today I made the decision to pull our tree from the garage ready for assembly and decorating when all my lovelies return from school and work. As I stood there gazing at our lovely tree it reminded me of something horrid and once again I have abandoned our tree to sit down and write this blog. Christmas trees are so lovely, they resemble so many wonderful things especially when you gather around to decorate the tree as a family however not many of us are aware of the hidden dangers of Christmas decorations, especially when we have curios little people poking and prodding at the tree. My family learnt this the hard way however lucky for us we had more of a scare than anything serious.
Let me take you back to Christmas 2015… we were only too aware that our bright and bubbly then 20 month old would be all over a christmas tree like a rash which made us revaluate what decorations we would be adorning our tree with… we went through the standard checklist for anyone with a young baby in the house… No glass decorations…check, Christmas tree secured…check, bauble hooks replaced with ribbon…check, tinsel free decorations…check we were all so thorough, and what we were left with was a somewhat dismally decorated tree covered in shatterproof baubles and a very meagre sprinkling of lights, we opted to skip on the artificial snow and thought we had absolutely covered all bases to make sure our tree was as hazard free as a Christmas tree could be.
Our Christmas tree should have been toddler proof right? Well that could not be further from the truth! Could you imagine our shock when one day shortly after Christmas my son toddled up to my husband pointing to his mouth and looking utterly distressed. Between the bouts of screaming and crying, my husband tried to see what was going on with our little guy’s mouth, it took a while for it to sink in but we quickly realised that a rather large sequin (about the size of a 5 cent piece) had dislodged from one of the baubles and my son had popped it into his mouth, much like any curios 20 month old would (I think the thought process went something along the lines of “oh shiny and pretty I’d better taste that :-/ ) We desperately tried to get this sequin out which had quite comfortably created a suction on the top of my sons sensitive roof palate however the more we tried to dislodge the sequin, the more the roof of his mouth started to bleed. After trying everything we could to dislodge this sequin we decided to head over to the children’s hospital where he was assessed and promptly admitted to hospital. The biggest concern the doctors had at the hospital was that the sequin would dislodge and my son would swallow it and choke, it was certainly big enough to seriously damage his airways. So turns out it was pretty serious, a specialist was called in to try and dislodge the suction however nothing worked and my now very distressed 20 month old had blood oozing from the top of his palate. We were admitted to hospital with a surgical removal scheduled the next morning. The removal went through without a hitch and my son seemed to bounce back pretty quick, myself and my husband on the other hand felt like the worst parents in the world. We failed to identify that the seemingly harmless bauble was still a choking hazard. We quickly learned after the fact that it was a common problem that many families learned the hard way. We were contacted by the children’s hospital shortly after to allow an interview on a segment the news was doing to raise the awareness of Christmas decoration safety.
This is just a timely reminder if you have little people in the house to be extra vigilant with holiday decorations… even if they aren’t yet mobile just remember if it’s sparkly or it can fit in their mouth it will go in there!
Have a safe and happy holiday season all, from my family to yours xx
Here’s a pic of my little man after he had been admitted to hospital 🙁