Celebrate the holidays safely
Safety is essential when creating that special holiday magic. Whether you're putting up a Christmas tree, or lighting the Menorah or Kwanzaa candles, these simple precautions can help make your holidays more joyful and safe.
Lights and candles
When decorating trees, use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials. Decorate your tree using only UL (Underwriters'Lab Inc.) approved lights and cords. Inspect lights for exposed or frayed cords. Never use more than three strings of lights on one extension cord, and never run an electrical cord under a carpet.
Turn off the tree lights before leaving the tree in an unattended room, going to bed or departing from home.
Keep burning candles out of your children's reach. Keep matches and lighters out of sight and locked away. Do not leave burning candles unattended, and never place them near anything that might easily catch fire. Supervise children around the fireplace.
Purchase a fresh, green tree, and remember to water it daily. Keep the tree away from fireplaces or other heating sources.
Do not use fragile ornaments or those with small, detachable parts or metal hooks on lower branches. Also avoid ornaments that look like food or candy.
Holiday foods and ornaments
Keep round, hard foods and candies, such as candy cane pieces, mints, nuts and popcorn, out of your children's reach.
Keep small ornaments, tinsel, small figurines and other decorations out of reach.
Keep alcoholic beverages and containers out of reach. Keep common baking ingredients, such as vanilla and almond extracts out of reach.
Keep poisonous plants out of reach, including amaryllis. Watch for holly and mistletoe berries that may have fallen on the ground and into your child's path -- they are very poisonous. Poinsettias are not poisonous, but may cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal distress.
For poisoning emergencies, call (800) 222-1222. Keep the number by all phones.
Select age-appropriate toys. Avoid those with small, removable parts that may pose a choking risk for young children.
When buying bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards or skates, always include helmets and appropriate protective equipment.