Christmas tree The hidden dangers

A Christmas tree can be a beautiful addition to your home during the holidays. But there are some potential dangers to be aware of. If not properly cared for, a Christmas tree can become a fire hazard. Additionally, the chemicals used to treat the tree can be harmful if ingested. The needles of the tree can also be a choking hazard for small children and pets. Finally, the tree itself can be top-heavy and pose a falling hazard.

Christmas tree: 5 potential dangers to you and your family (and how to avoid them)

โ€œIn the dark you shine to us, Christmas tree. On your branches the colored lights sparkle โ€, and also some dust mites and molds. Yes, in addition to brightening our winter days, bringing brightness and joy during the holiday season. The Christmas tree could also bring some ailments and some dangers.

For several years now, there has been talk of the famous risks associated with Christmas trees. You have probably already encountered some health problems yourself, or maybe your child has experienced them. Who during the holiday season always seems prey to allergic reactions, bronchitis and coughing and sneezing attacks.

But what could be the cause of such a problem? You guessed it, it could be related to our dear and beloved Christmas tree!

In this article we want to find out with you what are the dangers of trees. That stand out in plain sight in our homes from the first days of December to mid-January. We will find out how to choose the lights for the tree and we will also see how to decorate the house. For Christmas without risking an electric shock or having a bad allergic reaction.

First of all, however, we should make a distinction between the different types of Christmas trees.

Synthetic or natural Christmas tree?

Those who want to protect the environment may find themselves at a crossroads.: Is it better to buy a real or artificial Christmas tree? In both cases, the choice will have advantages and disadvantages. The real tree might seem the โ€œgreenestโ€ option, but in reality it must be remembered. That it is difficult for a live fir to survive for a long time inside our homes. So the risk could be to kill the plant unnecessarily, without having the possibility of planting it again in its natural habitat.

On the other hand, a fake Christmas tree is mostly made up of polluting materials. So it can represent a careless option for the environment. However, it should be specified that artificial trees have a much longer resistance than a real tree. An artificial fir could be used for many years, thus cushioning the impact on the environment.

If you have chosen a fake Christmas tree, check that it is made from fireproof and non-flammable materials.

Even from the point of view of health, a real and an artificial Christmas tree entail. Each for different reasons, health risks, dangers that can easily be avoided thanks to a dose of common sense.

The dangers hidden under the Christmas tree

Among the potential risks associated with Christmas decoration par excellence there is that of fire. The danger of developing health problems (allergies, exposure to mold), that of injuring oneself due to the decorations or inhaling toxic substances.

Below we will see, one by one, the potential dangers of the Christmas tree to know, and we will discover how to decorate the tree safely.

Danger of fire

The materials used to make synthetic Christmas trees and decorations are extremely flammable. This means that such objects can start large fires in less than a minute.

To prevent this from happening, carefully check the lighting systems when setting up the tree. Do not rely on poor and low-cost systems, but choose light chains with the CE mark and equipped with the safety mark (such as IMQ).

Remember that light chains are connected to electricity, like appliances such as microwaves and washing machines. Any malfunction could be very dangerous. Avoid twisting Christmas lights and do not hang decorations directly on the wires. This will reduce the risk of shock and fire.

Furthermore, electrical systems should not be placed on the ground, as they could cause interference or serious consequences (such as short circuits or electric shocks) if liquids were accidentally spilled into them.

The same goes for the crib. Do not leave light sockets in contact with liquids (such as a pond or shepherdโ€™s fountain). Avoid putting the lights in contact with flammable materials (such as straw or paper).

For both the tree and the crib, remember to always turn off the lights if you are about to leave the house or if you are about to go to sleep.

Risk of falls

No, it is not you who are in danger of falling, but your Christmas tree. Whether it is a real tree or you have opted for an artificial Christmas tree, what matters is that it is firmly attached to the base.

Small children or pets could cause the tree to fall, risking injury or โ€“ if the decorations or lights are damaged โ€“ injure themselves.

How to secure the Christmas tree?

To prevent the Christmas tree from falling, simply attach it to a safe point, such as a piece of furniture or a nail on the wall.

Mold and allergies, or the โ€œChristmas tree syndromeโ€

The risks associated with Christmas trees are not over yet! If you have a real fir tree in your home. You have probably experienced burning eyes and sneezing more than usual. Surely you have thought of a cold on the way, but it is probably rather a syndrome. The famous โ€œChristmas tree syndromeโ€, a more common problem than you think.

Symptoms of this syndrome mainly consist of:

Watery eyes
Sneezing
A runny nose
Respiratory difficulties
Itchy nose
Cough
Chest pain
Sleep problems

But what exactly are these symptoms due to? You guessed it, they are due to your fir, on which โ€“ according to a study published in Annals of Allergy. Asthma and Immunology โ€“ there are 53 different types of mold, which tend to proliferate indoors. In the warmth inside our homes, causing respiratory problems and consequences such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

To avoid meeting such a condition, the tree should be kept indoors for the shortest possible time.

Allergy to the Christmas tree

Not only molds, but also dust can ruin our holiday season. This time the major suspect is the artificial Christmas tree.

Before setting it up at home, did you also drag it out of the closet and set it up without thinking twice? Well, in this case you should know that, with a good chance. Your beautiful tree will have brought with it a lot of dust, which in turn can trigger very annoying allergies.

How to decorate a Christmas tree to avoid allergies?

To avoid all this, just give the Christmas tree a rinse before decorating it. Let it dry in the open air and the risk of allergies will be officially averted! Again, it would be better to avoid keeping the Christmas tree at home for more than a few weeks, or โ€“ alternatively โ€“ use an air purifier.

Candles and decorations: the risks to consider

Before you buy the cheapest Christmas decorations, there are a few things to consider.

A very low cost often (but not always of course) corresponds to low quality materials. This means that low-cost candles could be made with toxic materials, which can disperse inhalable particles that contain heavy metals, carbon monoxide and other substances dangerous to health in the air.

When choosing the candles to buy, prefer those made with natural wax and without the addition of synthetic substances.

When choosing Christmas balls, if you have pets or children at home, opt for unbreakable decorations, and avoid those in glass or with very small details that could come off and be swallowed.

How to make the Christmas tree safely and avoid dangers

The tips for making a Christmas tree in complete safety are few and simple. Just follow them to avoid putting your health and that of your family at risk.

Letโ€™s briefly summarize them to better fix them in memory:

Choose a good quality Christmas tree, made with fireproof materials (in the case of artificial fir) or with green branches and no dry parts (in the case of natural fir).

Buy only good quality lights, marked with the CE mark.

Do not leave sockets and power strips on the ground or near water sources.

Before placing the light chains on the tree, check that they are in excellent condition.

Before bringing the synthetic tree indoors, give it a quick wash outdoors and let it dry naturally.

If youโ€™ve chosen a natural Christmas tree, donโ€™t keep it indoors for more than a few weeks.

Fix the fir tree to the wall or to a piece of furniture to prevent it from falling.

Choose unbreakable decorations, especially if you have pets or small children in the house.

If you intend to buy candles to decorate your home, donโ€™t be fooled by the low prices, but always choose products of good quality and made with natural wax.

Have fun decorating your home safely, sipping a good hot chocolate with your family!

Keep this handbook in mind to decorate the tree as you like and in complete safety!

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Vogue Health Team

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