Holiday Safety
December 04, 2018
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Happy Holidays to all! As a Jewish American, I still, like everybody else, so enjoy seeing all of the holiday decorations coming out. Who doesn’t get excited about this time of year?

Let’s review some highlights for indoor holiday decoration safety. My advise about outdoor decorations is actually very simple–the younger the child, the less involved in the decorating process, the better.

1. Trees

  • If using “artificial” make sure they are “fire resistant".
  • For live trees–fresh trees are green, have some sticky resin on the trunk, needles don’t snap in half when bent and don’t fall off if the tree is shaken.
  • Cut off approximately 2″ from the base and keep in water.
  • Keep away from fire or heat source like heaters, radiators.
  • Keep away from traffic areas like doorways.
  • Secure to walls with thin wire for stability.

2. Trimmings

  • Use only non-flammable.
  • Avoid sharp or breakable objects.
  • Avoid leaded materials (note–besides patriotism, “Made in America” is usually, but NOT ALWAYS, best).
  • Avoid small parts.
  • Avoid artificial candy or food.

3. Candles

  • Keep away from trees.
  • Keep away from paper.
  • Non-flammable holders.
  • Extinguish all flames if you go out or retire for the evening (this means YOU, fellow Jews celebrating with the Hannukah menorah!) .

4. Lights

  • Check for broken or cracked sockets.
  • Check wires.
  • Never use electric light on metal tree–the tree can conduct electricity causing shocks or fires.
  • Shut off all electric ornaments upon retiring for the evening.
  • Do not overload sockets–no more than 3 standard light sets per extension cord.

5. Paper

  • Don’t keep paper by open flame like fireplace or candles (DUH!!)
  • Do not burn used wrapping paper in fireplace.

6. Spun glass–“angel hair” decorations of sprayed artificial snow can be inhaled and cause serious lung injury.

7. Poinsettias are poisonous–is it really necessary to include them in decorating your house when there are young children around?

Bottom line that I remind all patients : Christmas decorations, and in particular, the tree, are the definition of “attractive nuisance”–little kids are drawn to them. I mean–that’s the point, isn’t it? So you cannot keep the child away from the tree. You must endeavor to keep the tree away from the kid.

Please keep all of these things in mind. And let’s make this the Happiest and HEALTHIEST Holiday Season yet!!

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