Beginning in November and continuing through December every hour 10 people are injured from holiday decorating activities. The good news is that these injuries are 100% preventable. Pro Consumer Safety briefly explains why and provides safety tips to keep you and your family safe while decorating for the holidays.
"Holiday Decorating" is part one of an eight part series on holiday safety (Cooking, Stress-Free Holidays, Holidays After Loss of A Loved One, Shopping Safety, Child-Safe Gift Guide, Gifts and Children's Boundaries, and Family Holiday Activities). In addition will also include a brief on Hanukkah Safety.)
Common Holiday-Related Injuries
- Adult falls : Most adult falls are from ladders followed by cuts, burns, and back strains all from decorating.
- Fires: Most tree fires happen between Christmas and New Year's when trees become more dried out. Tree fires happen because of three common reasons: 1) The tree not being watered-Live trees dry quickly in a warm home, especially when not watered regularly causing a high fire risk. 2) the tree being placed too close to a heat source (fireplace or heater), and 3) Too many strands of lights plugged into together.
- Falls and poisonings among toddler-aged children: Children under the age of 5 are also treated in emergency departments during this time of year for injuries associated with 1) shopping cart and escalator related-falls while parents are shopping; and 2) in the home from being exposed to poisonous holiday plants and decorations that look like candy.
Decorating Safety Tips
Live Tree Warning! Most tree fires happen between Christmas Day and New Years. For those who celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah with a tree or bush that is decorated, remember if you have a live tree or bush, they can dry out quickly in a warm home, from not being watered properly, being too close to room heating and too many strands of lights plugged together.
Tree or Bush Decorating Tips:
Holiday Lighting Tips:
Holiday Plant Safety Tips
Three common holiday plants include mistletoe, holly berries and Christmas cactus. When decorating for the holidays, if you have small children (infants or toddlers) living in your home or if you will have small children visiting your home, be aware of these holiday plants that are known to be poisonous.
Mistletoe, holly berries, and Christmas cactus are poisonous if swallowed. Eating one or two berries from these plants can cause stomach aches, vomiting and/or diarrhea. However a higher amount of 15-20 can be deadly. Keep these plants up high, away from small children and even animals. Also keep in mind that if these are hung on a door, such as in a wreath, or placed overhanging from a bookcase, that leaves might drop becoming a risk to infants and toddlers, and pets.
Mistletoe - Poisonous
Holly Berries - Poisonous
Christmas Cactus - Poisonous
Never assume and always call Poison Control (1-800-222-1222). Remember Poison Control is also available for non-emergency questions about any type of concerns about poisoning. Many people confuse Poinsettias, but these are not poisonous, but if swallowed may cause stomach aches. Again, never guess what a child or even adult might have swallowed, always call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. Keep this number stored in your mobile phone.
Fireplace Safety Tips
A fireplace in your home is warm and festive for the holidays. However keep in mind fire and burn safety when decorating and when in use. Follow these decorating and use recommendations to prevent the risk of a fire in your home and a burn to visitors such as infants or toddlers who might visit your home.
Decorating your fireplace:
You can also visit Winter Holidays and Winter Sport Safety or read or print Holiday Times for all your holiday safety needs.
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