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Article Type: Blog

Children's Home Safety

As you prepare for festive gatherings, its a good idea to safeguard your home for children and older adults. Below are some basic safety tips from Florida Hospital for Children to help keep the happy in holidays.

Christmas Trees

  • If you prefer real trees, look for the freshest ones available. Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire than older trees. 
  • Keep natural trees in a container full of water and check daily.
  • Secure trees in a wide-based stand to prevent tipping over.
  • Use a tree skirt or blanket to cover tree basins.
  • Keep them away from heat sources such as fireplaces and heating vents.
  • Avoid eye injuries to small children by cutting lower tree branches.
  • Decorate trees with children in mind. Dont put breakable ornaments, tinsel, ornaments with small, detachable parts, metal hooks, or anything that looks like food or candy on lower branches. 
  • Consider fencing your tree with a childproof portable play yard. 
  • Hang tree lights out of the reach of children.
  • Never burn tree branches, treated wood or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  • Dispose of your tree promptly after the holidays.

Lights and Candles

  • Use only UL (Underwriters Lab Inc.) approved lights and cords for decorating.
  • Discard lights with frayed or exposed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
  • Dont overload extension cords. Use no more than three strings of lights on a cord. 
  • Electrical cords should be secure so children cant pull them and topple the tree. 
  • Never run electrical cords under a carpet.
  • Turn off tree lights when you leave home, go to bed or leave the room. Plus, extinguish all fireplaces and candles. 
  • Keep burning candles out of childrens reach and teach them not to touch burning candles.
  • Dont leave candles unattended. Keep matches and lighters hidden from children.
  • Dont place candles near draperies or anything susceptible to catching fire.
  • Use a fireplace screen if you build a fire. Otherwise, children may become mesmerized by the flame and want to touch it.
  • Have a play yard to keep young children away from screens they get hot.
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • Plan and practice fire escape routes from your home to an outside meeting place.

Poisons

  • Open the fireplace flue when burning wood to provide adequate ventilation and decrease chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Baking ingredients such as vanilla and almond extracts contain high levels of alcohol and may be harmful to young children.
  • Keep poisonous plants out of reach. Holly and mistletoe berries are poisonous if eaten. Other holiday plants of concern include amaryllis, azalea, boxwood, Christmas rose, Crown of Thorns, English ivy, holly, Jerusalem cherry and mistletoe. 
  • Artificial snow sprays can cause lung irritation if inhaled.
  • Keep a list on the refrigerator door of emergency and poison control numbers. Leave numbers where you can be reached if a babysitter needs to reach you.
  • Only use Ipecac syrup on the advice of a poison control center or physician.
  • Keep round, hard foods and candies such as nuts, mints, popcorn and candy canes out of reach of young children. These can be a choking hazard.
  • Remind guests to keep medications away from young children. Grandmas pill box may look like a candy container to a little one.