During this busy time of year, it’s important to remain safety-focused. Here are some tips to help everyone have an enjoyable and safe holiday season.
- When visiting friends or family, watch for danger spots, including unlocked cabinets, dangerous chemicals, and accessible stairways and radiators.
- Clean up soon after hosting a holiday party to eliminate choking hazards.
- Be sure to keep hot liquids and food away from the edges of counters.
- Select toys to suit each child’s age, abilities and skills.
- Choose battery-operated toys over toys with plugs.
- Toys with button batteries, magnets and un-inflated or broken balloons can be choking hazards.
- Avoid toys with sharp points, sharp edges or long strings/cords.
- Artificial trees should be “fire-resistant.”
- Make sure your live tree is green with needles that don’t fall off, and has plenty of water in the stand.
- Place trees away from heat sources and high-traffic areas.
- Make sure there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections on lights.
- Use only certified outdoor electric decorations with a GFCI.
- Don’t use nails or tacks to secure lights and never tug lights to remove them.
- To limit fire risk, never string more than three sets of lights per extension cord and always turn off lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Choose decorations made with flame-resistant materials.
- Avoid decorations that are sharp, breakable or resemble candy or food.
- Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children.
- Avoid using older ornaments that might contain lead paint.
- Keep poinsettias out of reach or avoid using them.
- Remove all wrapping paper, bags and bows after gifts are opened.
- Remove all branches, papers and decorations from the fireplace area.
- Be sure the flue is open.
- Don’t burn giftwrap in the fireplace.
Vin Gupta, M.D., FAAP, FCCM
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Director of Pediatric Inpatient Services
Community Hospital North