tiagozr/Fotolia

Are Fake Christmas Trees Safe For Babies? Weighing The Pros & Cons

By
Share
Ad failed to load

I'm not one for seasonal decorating. I'm about to have my fourth kid for crying out loud, I don't have brain space to be staging pastel bunnies in April. But the one time of year I do exert that precious energy is Christmas. The tree is obviously central to all decorating efforts, and we've always picked out a live one as a family. But this year those fake trees are looking pretty good — no needles to sweep, no watering, no allergies. But with a newborn on the way I'm wondering, are fake Christmas trees safe for babies?

Deemer Cass of Fantastic Christmas Tree Delivery tells Romper in an exclusive interview that both live and artificial Christmas trees have their pros and cons, and families have to weigh which choice is right for them. When it comes to the particular consideration of having a baby in the house, moms and dads might make a different choice than they would have pre-kids.

Fake trees are appealing, Cass acknowledges, in that they are cheaper in the long run, convenient, and mess-free. The last point is not only an aesthetic concern but, for parents with crawlers or toddlers, a potential safety point as well. Families with babies who are in an inquisitive stage might enjoy knowing that their little explorer won't be trying to swallow any rogue pine needles from the floor.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

On the other hand, Cass points out, there are some legitimate downsides to artificial Christmas trees as well. "Artificial Christmas trees aren't biodegradable and can't be recycled," Cass explains. "You might think you're helping the environment by not buying a freshly cut fir tree, but you're wrong." In addition to there being no way to responsibly dispose of a fake tree, Cass says that the making of it is just as unfortunate. "In order to make a fake Christmas tree, companies often use polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It contains various toxic compounds which can irritate the nose, eyes, and lungs. They also contain lead which is another chemical that can cause irritation."

I was personally wondering whether artificial trees might be the more environmentally responsible choice, so it surprised me to hear that fake Christmas trees may not be completely safe to have in the home. Parents inevitably have a wide variety of opinions on the concerns of toxins like PVC; the same information will greatly distress one family while another will shrug it off as unavoidable life in the world today. But educating ourselves to make an informed decision we're comfortable with is always an important move.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

One big factor on a lot of families' minds during the holidays is the increased risk of fire that comes with having a tree in the home, especially one decked out in electrical lights. When it comes to live trees, we know that the longer they are left up, the more they dry out and thus the more flammability increases.

But Cass says that artificial Christmas trees are also extremely flammable. "They are practically plastic and everybody knows how fast it can burn," he points out. "Some fake trees have a label that claims they are fire-proof, but they can withstand a fire for a limited amount of time. After that, they burn like a torch."

Ad failed to load

So are fake Christmas trees safe for babies? It would seem there is not a one-size-fits-all answer for every family. Both artificial and live trees come with their respective pros and cons, and parents have to weigh them all against their own family concerns and convictions to determine which choice is right for them. Perhaps neither option can dispel all your worries, but then, there's eggnog for that.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack