12 Safety Tips for a Merry & Bright Holiday Season
The holiday season is downright magical. The lights! The cherished family ornaments! The candles, plants and tree! After the first holiday season with an active child, we quickly realize all decorations aren’t made to be kid-friendly. It takes some effort from the grown-ups to ensure little ones are safe while celebrating the magic of the season. Luckily, The American Academy of Pediatrics created a list of tips to keep everyone in your home safe, and the holidays merry.
- When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. The needles should be hard to pull off, and should not easily break when you bend them. When you tap the tree on the ground, only a few needles should fall off. Cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk before putting it in the stand, and be sure to keep the stand filled with water.
- If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “Fire Resistant.”
- When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
- Check all lights before hanging them on a tree or in your home, even if you have just purchased them. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
- Be cautious about trimmings that may contain lead. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded materials. Light strands may contain lead in the bulb sockets and wire coating, sometimes in high amounts. Make sure your lights are out of reach of young children who might try to put lights in their mouths, and wash your hands after handling them.
- Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them. Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks. And, watch your step if using a ladder to deck your halls.
- When lighting candles, remove flammable materials from the area, and place the candles where they will not be knocked over. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Do not use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
- In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or inhaling small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.
- Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.
- Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child, or can cause a fire if near flame.
- Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations, including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry, away from children, and pets too.
Don’t forget: When you leave your home or head to bed for the night, take a look around to be sure all decorations are turned off, candles are blown out and nothing is stirring (not even a mouse).
IHA Urgent Care is open on holidays! If your little sugarplumb experiences an injury or illness this holiday season, we’re here to help, and are open on holidays. Save your spot in line at an IHA Urgent Care location near you.