Stitches, slings, and crutches are not what most people envision for the holiday season. Unfortunately, for about 200 people a day, decoration-related injuries are a reality this time of year. During November and December, an estimated 13,000 consumers are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday lights, Christmas trees, ornaments and other decorations. As consumers nationwide gear up to deck out their homes for the holiday season, CPSC is warning of decorating dangers and providing tips for a safe holiday home.
Ornaments and Other Decorations – Take special care to avoid sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children, who could swallow or inhale small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to reach for and swallow them.
Candles – Keep burning candles in sight, away from places where kids and pets can reach them or knock them over. Lighted candles should be placed away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.
Holiday Lights – Check lights for the mark of an independent safety testing laboratory. Examine new and old lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Do not use damaged light sets. Read additional tips on holiday lights.
Christmas Trees – Prevent a tree fire. Check for freshness when purchasing a live tree. The needles should be hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent. Preserve the tree while it is in your home by placing it away from heat sources. Each year, there are about 200 fires in which the Christmas tree is the first item ignited. These fires result in an estimated 10 deaths, 20 injuries, and $16 million in property losses.
Ladders – Use caution on ladders. Read “Ladder Safety 101” for tips to prevent ladder falls this season.
Toys – Play it Safe this holiday season. Avoid toys with small parts for children younger than age 3; purchase toys appropriate for your child’s age by following the age guidelines on the packaging; purchase helmets and other safety gear for ride-on toys; and heed product warnings and care instructions.