Be party safe
Parties are loaded with fun – they are also loaded with potential dangers.
Follow these steps to have a happy, incident-free party.

Before the Party
Parties need to be supervised constantly. A responsible adult needs to hover discreetly to keep an eye on things, even for older children.
Decide in which rooms children are allowed, and look through them carefully – even on toddler level if need be. Cover unused plugs, remove breakable items, and put kiddie locks on cabinet doors. Restrict access to unsuitable rooms..

  • Balloons do brighten up parties, but they are a choking hazard, especially for small children.
  • Fill balloons with helium – they are safer in the air. The same goes for streamers, string and banners used for party decoration.
  • Remove burst balloons or discarded décor immediately.
  • Secure tablecloths to the underside of the table with masking tape. Small children love to tug on tablecloths.
  • Use plastic or paper party supplies. They are available in nice colours – and are a lot safer!
  • Parties are synonymous with food, but few of us realise that food is a choking hazard.
  • Make sure that there is soft foods suitable for small children to eat.
  • Place unsuitable food on a surface where the little ones cannot reach it.
  • Have a dedicated “sweetie time” for eating, so that nobody runs around with food in their mouths.
  • Ask the parents about food allergies, especially if you don’t know the child.
  • Remember to keep ample supply of water and cool drinks available, especially in warm weather.
Be careful with birthday candles, and keep matches out of reach at all times. Small children cannot blow candles out by themselves, so adult or older child should do it. Take a quick picture of your child with his birthday cake, blow out the candles and remove it immediately.

Swimming Pools

Irrespectively if you are having a pool party or not, if you have a pool at your house, the party always needs to be supervised. If you are not having a pool party, you should keep the gate closed and locked. Consider having the party at a venue if you do not have a safety net or gate, or restrict all routes leading to the outside of the house. Ask some of the parents to help watch the children so that no one wanders off to the pool. A swimming party for children under five is not advisable, since many of them are not safe in a pool at this age. 
At a pool party there should always be an adult present who knows how to swim.
The rules are simple: No pushing, no running, no dunking, no rough games.

In the Sun
Keep a bottle of sunscreen handy if the party is outside in the sun, especially between 10:00 and 15:00. Always have shade available in hot weather.

Other Family Members
Remove all pets, especially those that get over-excited easily or are shy of people. Make sure that all the pets are off limits to all children.

A Final Word
Know what to do in an emergency. If you do not know basic first aid, invite a parent who does. Keep emergency numbers at the phone, and keep your first aid kit stocked and nearby.

Need to know more about parties?
Preserving party memories
How to behave when invited
Party politics for the host

What are your party safety tips?


Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Birthday party invites


Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?




Play creatively

Don’t let your little one’s frustration with wanting to ‘get things just right’ stop them from playing creatively.

See more >


Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.