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Saturday, July 29, 2017

10 holiday safety tips

holiday lights, holiday safety

Keep all holiday lights out of reach of small children.

We’ve made a list…and we hope you’ll check it twice! These 10 holiday safety tips are adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Safety Council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Arizona in mind.

Have a wonderful—and safe—holiday season!

1) Check your health

Wash hands frequently to avoid passing–or picking up—germs. Keep up with your sleep and avoid stress.

We’ve made a list…and we hope you’ll check it twice! Here are 10 holiday safety tips adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Safety Council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Arizona in mind. Have a wonderful—and safe—holiday season!

Feeling overwhelmed? Step back and try to let go of that urge to make everything “perfect.” Try to keep things in perspective.

2) Check the tree

Be sure to keep the stand filled with water because heated rooms and the lack of moisture in the Arizona air can dry live trees out rapidly.

3) Check the plants

Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach problems. Keep all plants out of children’s reach, especially mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis.

Poinsettias are not as dangerous as once believed, but exposure to the sap can create irritation in the eyes or itchiness and rash on the skin. Ingesting any portion of the plant can cause stomachache, nausea and vomiting.

holiday safety tips

Exposure to the sap from poinsettias can create irritation in the eyes or itchiness and rash on the skin.

4) Check the lights

Some light stands may contain lead in the bulb sockets and wire coating, and sometimes in high amounts. Make sure your lights are out of reach of young children who might try to mouth them, and wash your hands after handling them.

Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.

5) Check the decorations

Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders and place candles out of reach of young children and where they can’t be knocked over.

Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons; do not allow children under age 8 to play with them.

Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of 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.

6) Check the wrapping paper

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.

button battery, hazard

Button batteries can be deadly.

7) Check the toys

Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems after swallowing button batteries and magnets. They can also be deadly. Button batteries are often found in toys and musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids and other small electronics. Keep them away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.

Before buying a toy or allowing your children to play with a toy that they have received as a gift, read the instructions carefully.

Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches long. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.

Remove strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.

8) Check the fireplace

Do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Check to see that the flue is open before starting the fire.

9) Check the fire pit

Firepits can spell danger for children without adult supervision. Children ages 5 and younger sustain the majority of the 120,000 child and adolescent burn injuries requiring emergency room care and treatment each year, according to the AAP. Learn more about firepit safety.

10) Check routines

Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc. can all increase stress levels. Trying to stick to a child’s usual routine, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help everyone enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.

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Vicki Louk Balint

Multimedia journalist Vicki Louk Balint specializes in health and safety topics.

Copyrighted material. All rights reserved. This content may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or redistributed without permission of the publisher.

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