An average of 240 home fires are started by Christmas trees yearly resulting in $17 million dollars worth of damage.
- Consider enclosing it in a play yard or baby gate
- If you have little ones, you'll have to decide if your child is ready for accessing the tree without boundaries.
- Avoid hanging lights, garlands and ornaments at levels where your child can reach them. Too many kids have been taken to the emergency room for biting into Christmas tree lights.
- Anchor the tree to the wall using eye-hooks and fishing line.
- Have an older artificial tree? Make sure it is fire-rated.
- Maybe you don't have a cold. Maybe you have "Christmas Tree Syndrome". Real trees have mold that settles on them during their growing time and sometimes, when they're waiting on the lot to be sold. You might cough, be congested, wheeze, have sore eyes and, at times, experience life-threatening asthma attacks. Reduce the risk by giving the tree a good shake, or better yet, hose it down and let it dry for a full day. If you continue to have allergies, get an artificial tree. Control the controllable.
- A study revealed that the mold count from a live Christmas tree rose to five times the normal limit only two weeks after the tree was brought in.
- Mold may also be growing in the water container. Have someone else add the water to the tree.
- Keep your live tree in the house for 4 to 7 days.
- Some colored gift wrap may contain lead, so don't let kids puts it in their mouths
- Some holiday cards are powered by batteries, those button-sized lithium batteries, and in cards, they don't have their own compartments and fall loose. When kids put them in their mouths, the saliva causes an electric current that results in chemical reactions that can cause severe burn in their esophagus in as little as two hours. Go immediately to the emergency room or call 911 if you even think your child has swallowed it. No emergency room staff will ever criticize you for it. They surely do not want to see a 2-year old with a burned and bloody esophagus. REMEMBER! Flameless candles and remote controls have button batteries.
- Beware of the suffocation potential when it comes to holiday ribbon and tape and those decorations for gifts that can get into their little noses and mouths.
- If you have older kids, their toys may not be appropriate for your younger kids. In the excitement of the holidays, kids may not be supervised as closely as they otherwise might be, so keep the little ones close and away from older brother's toys.
- Check all Christmas tree and outdoor lights for cracked, broken or bare wires, loose bulb connections and replaced any damaged light sets.
- Adhere to the manufacturer's instructions for the amount of strands you can connect and avoid overloading extension cords.
- Have an older home? Be wise. It just may be a good idea to have the wiring checked before Christmas so you can rest assured.
- Don't run extension cords under rugs. Place them against the walls.
- Turn off all lights before you leave or go to bed.
- The U.S. Fire Administration reports that candles cause more than 10 deaths, 175 injuries, resulting in $20 million in damage.
- Never leave candles unattended.
- Put them on stable holders.
- Do a double check before going to bed making sure every flame is completely extinguished.
- Obviously, keep kids away from fireplaces and space heaters.
- Don't let kids throw wrapping paper into a fireplace. Some kinds of wrapping paper cause flash fires.
- Don't cut up your tree and burn it in a fireplace. It will explode and then burn as the sap is highly, highly flammable.
- If you leave the kitchen, take a spoon or potholder with you to remind yourself not to get caught up and neglect the stove.
- Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home.
- Put those big pots on the back burners.
- Carefully supervise young ones around tables with table clothes and runners. Uh oh.
- If you need to, put up baby gates around the stove.
- Poinsettias are not as toxic as we once thought, but they will cause an upset stomach and burning in the mouth.
- Poisonous plants include mistletoe, holly, Christmas rose and Jerusalem cherry.
- Keep the poison control number on your fridge. Call them about seeds, wax, decorations or whatever you're unsure of, but don't hesitate. Time is of the essence in a potential poisoning event.
- Keep figurines out of the reach of little ones.
- Hang stockings high up. If kids pull them down, whatever heavy object you have securing them to the mantle will hit them in the head.
- Keep that snow spray out of reach. It's potentially fatal if inhaled.
- Grandparents may be bringing medications with them when they visit. Come to an agreement as to how and where they will store their medications. If your child takes even one blood pressure pill, or a pill to lower blood sugar, it could put your kid in the hospital. Make sure that grandparents' luggage is closed and put away.
- Guests may not have been around young children for a while. Warn them about unattended handbags and glasses of alcohol.
- Guests are not allowed to smoke inside. That's it. The end. Not only is there second-hand smoke, but also third-hand smoke which is, that film of nicotine and chemical residues that lands on EVERYTHING and stays around for up to 5 years! It goes without saying, no vaping, either.
- Little ones may miss meals and naps and their bedtimes may be off-schedule. Pay attention to their health, especially if they're nursing infants. Being handled by a lot of people and missing feedings may result in early and unplanned weaning.
- Take the time to sit quietly with them, maybe rocking them, singing or reading to them or lying down with them to renew the intimacy. Don't let anyone interrupt you. They don't understand what's happening. All they know is that you're different now. It's scary.
- Dogs chew on Christmas lights. It can kill them.
- Dogs eat wrapping paper and decorations.
- Dogs eat plants which will make them sick.
- At Christmas time, dogs eat more chocolate than any other time of the year and it can be fatal.
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