Keep kids safe around holiday decorations this year


It’s a beautiful time of year to be a family and celebrate being together. Grandparents come over, cousins reunite, aunts pinch kids’ cheeks.

Don’t let your holiday turn tragic. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips of how to keep your kids safe from holiday decorations.

THE TREE

When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. The needles should be hard to pull off, and should not break when you bend them. When you tap the tree on the ground, only a few needles should fall off. Cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk before putting it in the stand, and be sure to keep the stand filled with water.

If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “Fire Resistant.”

When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.

Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.

Check all lights before hanging them on a tree or in your home, even if you have just purchased them. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.

Be cautious about trimmings that may contain lead. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded materials. Light strands may contain lead in the bulb sockets and wire coating, sometimes in high amounts. Make sure your lights are out of reach of young children who might try to put lights in their mouths, and wash your hands after handling them.

OUTSIDE

Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them. Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.

INSIDE

When lighting candles, remove flammable materials from the area, and place the candles where they will not be knocked over. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Do not use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.

For our Jewish friends, it’s too late for this year, but next year keep the menorah candles up and away from little hands when they are burning. (Or, shhh, don’t tell anyone, blow them out.) Never leave the room where the candles are burning.

In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the 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.

Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.

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.

Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations, including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry, away from children.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Lifestyle

Take a spin around Circuit of the Americas on two wheels
Take a spin around Circuit of the Americas on two wheels

Formula One drivers get it easy. They have four spinning tires and a screaming engine to rocket them up the whopper of a hill at the start of the Circuit of the Americas. Bicyclists, who swarm the track every Tuesday night this time of the year, have only their leg muscles to help them crest the summit. And trust us when we say pumping through that...
Celebrate nature with many Austin family events, April 22-28
Celebrate nature with many Austin family events, April 22-28

Events Sherwood Forest Faire. Travel back in time to merry ol’ England with this fair. 10 a.m. to dusk, Sunday and Saturday. $12-$22. 1883 Old U.S. 20, McDade. sherwoodforestfaire.com Monster Jam. Seriously big trucks crush other trucks. 2 p.m. Sunday. $20-37. Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.com City Nature Challenge. Find things...
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, April 22
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, April 22

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Charlotte Rae is 92. Actress Estelle Harris is 90. Actor Jack Nicholson is 81. Singer Mel Carter is 79. Author Janet Evanovich is 75. Country singer Cleve Francis is 73. Movie director John Waters is 72. Singer Peter Frampton is 68. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 67. Actor Joseph...
Granddaughter honors Lady Bird with updated Tuesday tradition
Granddaughter honors Lady Bird with updated Tuesday tradition

During the final 8 1/2 years of her grandmother’s life, Catherine Robb kept a regular Tuesday night date with Lady Bird Johnson, whom she and the other Johnson grandchildren called Nini. They watched TV, shared dinner and chatted, then Robb might read aloud, a special treat because Johnson was a lifelong lover of books but suffered from strokes...
Today’s horoscopes - Sunday, April 22

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You can’t add water to a full cup, and you won’t get anything new flowing through your life until you pour out some of the old stuff. Being open to receive new stuff will start with making room for it. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). If you don’t know what to say, you’re in a good place. It means you&rsquo...
More Stories