Be Ready for Santa with a Safe Holiday Season

            The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful—particularly
when it comes to keeping your kids safe through parties, presents, travel, and
meals. Follow these tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International
(ESFI) to protect your little ones this holiday season. For more information,
visit holidaysafety.org.

 

Electronic gifts

            About 70 percent of child-related electrical accidents occur at home when adult
supervision is present, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission. So make sure those new toys don’t pose a danger.

Outlet Covers

 

  • Electric-powered
    toys and other devices can be extremely hazardous if improperly used or used
    without proper supervision.
  • An adult
    should supervise the use of any electrical product.  Consider both the maturity of the child and
    the nature of the toy when deciding how much supervision is required.
  • Do not buy
    an electrical toy, or any toy, for a child too young to use it safely. Always
    check the age recommendation on the package, and remember that this is a
    minimum age recommendation. You should still take into account your child’s
    capabilities.
  • Never give
    any child under 10 years old a toy that must be plugged into an electrical
    outlet. Instead, choose toys that are battery-operated.
  • Make sure
    all electrical toys bear a fire safety label from an independent testing
    laboratory, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.).
  • Inspect all
    electrical toys periodically.  Repair,
    replace, or discard deteriorating toys.
  • Ban play
    with electrical toys near water, and make sure they understand that water and
    electricity don’t mix.
  • All
    electrical toys should be put away immediately after use in a dry storage area
    out of the reach of younger children.

 

Decorating safely

            Christmas,
Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day lead the year for candle fires, according to
ESFI. Mind your festive decorations for safety hazards:

  • Read
    manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels for any decoration that will be
    used around young children, like electronic trains or animatronic dolls.
  • Keep
    candles, matches, and lighters out of reach, and never leave children
    unsupervised when candles are lit.
  • Instead of
    traditional candles, try using battery-operated candles.
  • Cover any
    unused outlets on extension cords with plastic caps or electrical tape to
    prevent children from coming in contact with a live circuit.
  • Place
    electrical cords out of the reach of small children.
  • Never allow
    children to play with lights, electrical decorations, or cords.

 

Cooking

            In
2009, ranges and ovens were involved in an estimated 17,300 thermal burn
injuries seen in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Of these, 36 percent of the
victims were younger than 5. Keep little kitchen helpers in check:

Cooking safety

 

  • Never leave
    the kitchen when something’s cooking—a fire or accident can happen in an
    instant.
  • Keep
    children at least three feet away from all cooking appliances.
  • Never hold
    a child while cooking or when removing hot food from the microwave, oven, or
    stove.
  • Turn pot
    handles in, away from reaching hands.
  • Use the
    back burners on the cooktop whenever possible.
  • Hot tap
    water scalds can be prevented by lowering the setting on water heater
    thermostats to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below and by installing anti-scald
    devices in water faucets.
  • Once your
    holiday meal is ready, check that the stove and oven are turned off and that
    other kitchen appliances are unplugged and out of reach.

 

Source: Electrical Safety
Foundation International

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