The holiday season is one of the best times of the year! Let’s try to keep it happy and safe for everyone.
In 2014, 251,800 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency departments across the country. To stay safe, follow these easy tips:
• Toys typically have labels that indicate the intended age range. Only buy toys within your children’s age range to ensure their safety. Remember NO SMALL PARTS for kids under age 3.
• Provide the proper safety equipment for all new gifts. Make sure to buy new helmets (and proper pads) when giving kids new bikes, skateboards, or skates!
• Keep an eye on CPSC’s recall list so that you may return or repair a dangerous toy if a hazard is discovered.
Below are a few critical ways to ensure your decorations are not dangerous. For a complete list of safety suggestions, check out CPSC’s Holiday Decoration Safety Tips here.
• Holiday light strands don’t live forever. If the electric cords are starting to fray or if there is other damage visible, replace them and avoid the risk of a residential fire. Also, remember to read the warnings on the box! Are your lights approved for outdoor or indoor use?
• If you’re stapling your holiday lights up, use a staple gun specifically designed for holiday lights so you won’t blow the circuit.
• When hanging lights, please take care to use the most stable ladder you can find, have a second person hold the base steady, and clear the area surrounding the base of the ladder. Remember; don’t use a metal ladder while handling electrical items.
• Do some of your ornaments look like food? Wait a few years for the toddlers to be old enough not to bite into those before you start hanging them again.
Whether you are lighting a menorah or festive holiday decorations, flickering flames are an expected and welcome sight during the darkest days of the year, however, candle-caused fires are not! Take precautions to avoid inviting candle-initiated fires:
• Place candles away from drapes, gift-wrapped presents, stockings and trees.
• Never leave any candles unattended.
• If your children are lighting Hanukkah or Kwanzaa candles this year, set the menorah or kinara on a dry non-flammable surface and away from any hanging decorations. Have them use a low and sturdy model that won’t easily tip-over.
Christmas Tree Terrors
Having a tree is a wonderful tradition. Please follow these recommendations to ensure you don’t experience a tree tragedy this year:
• There are a range of tree stands on the market, but not all are created equal. The bigger your tree is, the sturdier your tree stand needs to be. Otherwise, you expose yourself to the risk of a tree tip-over. Just like your furniture, anchoring your Christmas tree to the wall is the safest option.
• Most importantly, it is imperative that you avoid a tree fire. Please (1) check that the tree is still fresh when you purchase it (needles should not pull out or break easily); (2) water your tree daily (at the base); (3) don’t use tree lights that have signs of damage; and (4) place your tree away from heaters and the fire place.
• Remember, artificial Christmas trees are still a fire risk. Please check the packaging for an indication that your tree is flame-resistant, and follow all of the same precautions that you would with a real tree, except watering it of course!
Finally, I want to wish everyone the happiest and safest of holidays during this winter season and a wonderful New Year!