Tips for Keeping Children Safe During the Holidays
The Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center (CCIC) provides the following holiday safety tips to help parents become better informed on injury prevention tips.
- When purchasing an artificial tree, look for a "Fire Resistant" label.
- When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness
- Make sure the needles are soft and don't fall off
- Live trees need water, and lots of it! Check your tree's water level daily.
- Dry trees can burn in seconds!
- When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators, portable heaters, and exits.
- Remove live trees from your home as soon as possible. Many tree fires occur on or after New Year's Day.
- Check each set of lights for damaged sockets or wires.
- Make sure all bulbs work and there are no frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections.
- Throw away any bad strands.
- Follow the manufacturer's recommendations concerning the maximum number of light sets that can be connected together.
- Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Use only light sets and extension cords marked "for outdoor use" outside your home.
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
- Never use lighted candles on or near a tree or other evergreens.
- Keep children and pets in mind when placing decorations on a tree.
- Remove all wrapping paper, bags, paper, ribbons, and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose as suffocation and chocking hazards to a small child or cause a fire if near a flame.
- Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations , including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry away from children.
- "Think Big" when choosing toys for small children
- Small parts could be a choking hazard.
- Make sure gifts are appropriate for the child's age.
- "Think Easy" when choosing a gift for someone who may have arthritis or some other physical challenge.
- Consider giving the gift of safety!
- Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers make great gifts!
Fireplaces and Heaters
- Before starting a fire in a fireplace, remove all decorations (including stockings) and be sure the flu is open.
- Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. They can burn extremely fast and throw off sparks.
- If a glass-fronted gas fireplace is used, keep children and others well away from it with a screen or gate. The glass doors can get hot enough to cause serious burns, and they stay hot long after the fire is out. Always place a screen in front of a wood-burning fireplace as well.
- When plugging in electric heaters, make sure the outlet was designed to handle the load.
- When using kerosene heaters, make sure you use the correct fuel.
- Using the wrong fuel can cause a fire or even an explosion.
- Check the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector monthly!
- Change the batteries as instructed by the manufacturer.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near sleeping areas.
- Develop a fire escape plan and practice the plan with your family!