This is a season of family, joy, and love. We decorate our homes, we give gifts, we travel distances to be with family and loved ones.

Unfortunately, it can also be a season of tragedy and loss. During the holiday season there is increased risk of injury or death due to fires, falls, electrocution, motor vehicle accidents, choking and more. Fortunately, most of these injuries and deaths are preventable.

Our intention with this article is not to scare you, but to make you aware of the possible dangers and empower you to keep your kids as safe as possible. Here are 5 tips for ensuring a safe holiday season.

  1. Prevent fires and practice fire safety. Unsafe Christmas trees, lights, candles, and fireplaces are the source of increased number of house fires at this time of the year.
    • Ensure your smoke detectors are operational.
    • Consider the type of tree, location of your tree. For live tree, buy fresh trees that are not dry; for artificial tree buy fire resistant. Do not place your tree near fireplace or put wrapping paper in fireplace.
    • Practice candle safety by keeping burning candles in sight and on stable, heat-resistant surface.
  2. Decorate safely. 14,700 holiday decorating related ER-treated injuries occurred last year.
    • In addition to fire safety, prevent injuries by considering the size and shape of the decorations if young children live or visit your home.
    • Check your lights to ensure they operate appropriately and have no frayed wires or shorts.
    • Practice and role-model ladder safety.
  3. Entertain safely.
    • Remember food safety when preparing and keeping food out for celebrations during the holiday season. No one wants to spend the holiday with food poisoning!
    • Consider that the homes you are visiting may not be child-proofed. Program the phone number for poison control into your cell phone (1-800-222-1222).
    • Prevent burns by practicing safety when baking and cooking with children in the kitchen.
  4. Buy Safe Toys.
    • Toys can have small pieces that are choking hazards for infants, toddlers, and small children.
    • Toys can also have ingredients that are toxic to children.
    • Keep button batteries away from young children. See the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website to learn about recalls and toys that are not safe for children.
  5. Travel safely by ensuring proper car seat, booster seats, and seat belt use for the whole family.

Please read the following blogs for additional information on holiday safety for your family!

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