Rural/Metro Corporation and several of its local ambulance operations have been posting The 12 Days of Safety Tips for Christmas on their Facebook pages since December 13. Each day’s tips have a different safety topic. From those tips, Rural/Metro created the following not-as-common safety tips.
Twelve not-as-common family and pet focused Christmas Safety Tips:
- Use an empty toilet paper role to gauge if toy parts are too small for a child under three and pose a choking hazard.
- Keep holiday plants away from children and pets. Mistletoe, holly berries, and Christmas cactus are poisonous if swallowed.
- Take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child.
- Chemicals in your tree’s water can prove very harmful to your pets, as can pine needles that fall into the water dish. A tight-fitting tree skirt may help prevent accidents.
- Quickly dispose of all gift wrappings, ribbons, and bows that can be easily swallowed by young children or curious pets.
- Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches long. They could be a strangulation hazard for children.
- When shopping, keep your bag close to your body to help prevent the bag from being snatched. Adjust the strap so it hangs right across the front of your body.
- The homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots.
- Traveling, visiting family members, shopping, etc., can all increase your child's stress levels. Sticking to your child's usual routines, including sleep and nap schedules, can help reduce holiday stress for children.
- Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights and cause electrocution.
- When you get the Christmas tree home, cut off the bottom two inches of trunk to expose the fresh wood. This creates a fresh cut for the tree to soak in water and help keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
Sources: Sources American Academy of Pediatrics; SafeUSA; U.S. Fire Administration; Christmas Safety Tips When You Have A Baby In The House, by Tiffany B., Christmas-Safety-Chris.pirillo.com.; About.com.firstaid; Reader’sDigest.Com, http://childrensafetyzone.com/go/page.php?page=christmas
To view the full 12 Days of Safety Tips for Christmas visit any of the following Facebook pages:
Rural/Metro of Central Florida
Rural/Metro Santa Clara
Rural/Metro of Tennessee
Rural/Metro Medical Services Rochester, NY
Rural/Metro Medical Services of Central New York
Holiday Safety Facts:
While the holidays are normally a joyous time and Christmas related injuries and fires are rare, they still occur far too often. According to the National Fire Protection Association, on average there are 240 home fires that start as a result of Christmas trees each year, causing an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage annually. On average, one of every 18 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulting in death. A heat source too close to the Christmas tree started one of every five (20%) of these fires.