The holiday season is a special time for toddlers and children. Presents, decorations, lights and food are all part of the magic. But these things can also present a danger to youngsters. With a little planning and forethought, parents can minimize hazards and make the season a fun-filled time for the entire family. Here are a few tips to keep the holidays safe.

1. Keep handbags out of reach

During parties people might leave their handbags on the floor in an area your child can reach. Everything from medication to coins to perfume could be dangerous if ingested. Be sure to keep all purses in a secure location.

2. Use candles safely

Candles are used more than usual during the holiday season. Keep them out of children’s reach along with matches and lighters. Place all candles in holders with large diameters to contain any wax dripping. A safer alternative is to use electric candles that even flicker like real candles.

3. Be smart about your Christmas tree

Never place a tree near a heater or other source of heat. If you have pets or small children in the house, place a gate around the tree to prevent the pets from biting on the wires. Secure Christmas trees to a wall to prevent them from toppling over. Install heavy-duty screws into the wall and loop green ribbon through the branches to tie.

4. Decorate with kid-friendly ornaments

Glass ornaments can easily slip from a tree and shatter into dangerous splinters. Help children create homemade decorations or use plastic and wooden ornaments. Additionally, keep the lower branches of the tree ornament-free to prevent children from pulling on them.

5. Prevent fire-hazards with safer Christmas lights

Use the cooler-burning “mini” Christmas lights as opposed to the traditional larger bulbs to decorate your tree. The older style burns much hotter and can start fires. Don’t use numerous light cords attached to each other. Purchase a cord specifically designed with multiple outlets along the wire.

6. Keep an eye on adult-only refreshments

Holiday punches and eggnog can look enticing to a toddler and child. Be on the look- out for abandoned, half-empty glasses that might be within a child’s reach. Refrain from placing choking hazards like bowls of nuts or hard candy out on tables.