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Put Family Safety at Top of Holiday Wish List

Common sense tips that keep everyone protected at home

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don't forget about family safety.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta offers the following tips for preventing holiday injuries:

  • Match children with age-appropriate toys and, if you have more than one child, make sure to label them and keep toys separate so that younger children don't end up playing with older siblings' toys.
  • Infants and toddlers should never be allowed to play with toys that have small parts that could be choking hazards. You can determine if a part is too small by trying to place it inside a standard cardboard toilet paper tube. If the part fits entirely in the tube, it is small enough to pose a serious choking hazard. Keep balloons, strings, and ribbons away from young children, because they pose a choking/strangulation hazard.
  • If you're giving bikes, skates, skateboards or scooters to children, make sure to include a helmet and other appropriate safety gear. Motorized scooters and all-terrain vehicles are not appropriate gifts for children under 16 years old.
  • Keep decorations and other items with sharp edges well out of the reach of youngsters.
  • Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh, green and watered frequently. Don't place it close to heat sources such as fireplaces, candles or vents. If you're buying an artificial tree, look for one with a "fire resistant" label.
  • Turn off Christmas lights when you go to bed and blow out candles when you leave a room.
  • Make sure that all your smoke alarms have batteries and that the alarm is working. Develop a family home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of each room.
  • Don't use gasoline powered tools or charcoal grills indoors.
  • Keep poisonous, decorative plants such as mistletoe, holly and amaryllis out of the reach of children and pets. Keep the local Poison Control Center number with other emergency numbers.
  • Use only indoor holiday lights inside and outdoor lights outside.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about keeping children safe during the holidays.

SOURCE: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, news release, December 2006
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