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In addition to food, family, and gifts, decorations are one of the highlights of the holiday season. While candles, Christmas trees, and other decorations are part of the holiday spirit, they can pose fire and poisoning hazards, especially to curious children.
"The holidays are a time for spending with family and friends, not rushing to the emergency room," says Dwayne Smith, Safe Kids Colorado coordinator. "Once all of your decorations are up, keeping a close eye on both children and the decorations themselves is an important step to a safe holiday season."
Candles are a common cause of home fires in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the top four days for candle fires are around Christmas and New Year’s. Using battery-operated flameless candles is an alternative that does not pose a fire risk.
"Never, never leave lit candles unattended," says Smith. "Do not put candles on a tree or a natural wreath, or near curtains or drapes, and keep matches and lighters locked out of children’s reach. If you would like decorative lighting, make sure it is labeled with the seal of an independent testing lab, and only use it outdoors if it’s labeled for outdoor use."
If you decorate a tree, avoid these top decorating mistakes:
Top tips to prevent poisoning this holiday season:
For more information about holiday safety, call 720-777-8412 or visit www.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Colorado works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Colorado is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Colorado was founded in 2010 and is led by Children’s Hospital Colorado.