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Home / News and Events / News Releases / Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Urges Caution During Holiday Decorating
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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Urges Caution During Holiday Decorating
 
December 4, 2014
Media Contact:
Ashley Culver
(615) 322-4747
ashley.culver@vanderbilt.edu

Christmas holiday decorating

Holiday lights and decorations bring an increased potential for injury, especially to young children. Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is offering a host of tips to keep homes safe and prevent holiday-related injuries. 

Holiday home safety mishaps account for more than 12,000 emergency room visits each year in the United States during November and December, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The dangers that lurk behind holiday cheer are often associated with electrical safety, tree-decorating mistakes, unintentional poisoning and cooking injuries.

“Often times, holiday decorating-related fires involve faulty holiday lights, unattended candles and dried-out Christmas trees,” said  Barb Shultz, R.N., administrative director for Surgical Services at Children’s Hospital. “Families can avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries by following some simple safety tips this holiday season.”

Electrical Safety

  • Inspect holiday lights each year – check for frayed wires, broken sockets or excessive wear.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Unplug all holiday lights when you go to sleep or leave your house.
  • Don’t overload extension cords or outlets with too many plugs.

Safe Decorating

  • Make sure an adult is present when candles are lit and blow out the candles before leaving a room.
  • Keep candles at least 3 feet away from anything that might burn.
  • Store candles, matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children.
  • Artificial trees should have a “fire resistant” label.
  • Live trees should be watered frequently, keeping the stand filled with water at all times.
  • Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorway.
  • Avoid putting ornaments that have small parts or metal hooks, or look like food or    candy on lower branches easily accessible to young children.

Poison Prevention

  • Keep alcohol, including baking extracts, out of reach of children.
  • Color additives used in fireplace fires are a toxic product and should be stored out of reach.
  • Artificial snow can be harmful if inhaled, so use it in a well-vented space.
  • Mistletoe berries, holly berries and Jerusalem cherry can be poisonous. If they are used in decorating, make sure children and pets cannot reach them.

For more information about holiday safety and other home safety tips visit www.kohlssafehome.com. In a poison emergency, call the Tennessee Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.

 
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