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12 tips for keeping children safe during the holidays

Dec 18, 2019 09:47AM ● By Editor
From the Mayo Clinic Health System - Posted:  December 18, 2019

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a fun, exciting time. However, holiday decorations, parties and cold weather can pose threats to children.

Keep these safety tips in mind while preparing for the holidays:

  1. If you have a real tree, make sure the tree stand is always filled with water so the tree doesn't dry out and pose an increased fire hazard. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is made from fire-retardant material. Make sure the stand is flat on the ground, and decorate the tree to equally distribute weight.
  2. Do not leave children alone in a room with lighted candles, matches, lighters, fireplaces or any other sources of flame or heat.
  3. Keep decorations out of reach of children and secured to the wall. Any object small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube can obstruct the airway of a child.
  4. Keep mistletoe, holly berries and poinsettias out of reach of children as each is toxic when ingested.
  5. Use power strips with built-in circuit breakers. Avoid putting too many plugs into one electrical outlet. Keep cords out of the way or behind furniture, and insert electrical outlet covers into any unused outlets.
  6. Closely supervise your child if he or she is helping you decorate, especially when handling lighting, ornaments and breakable objects.
  7. Purchase lights with the UL Listed mark which certifies that the product has been tested to meet safety requirements.
  8. Make sure your children’s toys are age-appropriate and the batteries cannot be easily removed. Batteries shaped like disks, or button batteries, pose a choking risk to young children.
  9. Avoid placing gifts under the tree that contain glass, perfume or cologne, poisonous substances or sharp materials.
  10. Keep alcohol out of reach of children. Quickly clean up leftover drinks.
  11. Dress your child properly for the weather, making sure that their hands, feet and heads are covered.
  12. Supervise children and make sure they wear the correct safety gear for sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and other outdoor activities.

Carefully inspecting your home and taking care of any safety hazards can ensure you and your children have a happy, safe holiday season.

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