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More Holiday Safety Tips

Safe Decorations and Outdoor Safety

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Updated December 09, 2009

Decorations

Christmas trees, holiday lights, and candles can pose a safety hazard too.

When choosing a Christmas tree, either choose a fire resistant artificial tree or a fresh live tree, which should be green, with needles that are hard to pull off. Also keep the stand of your live tree filled with water and keep the tree away from the fireplace and radiator.

Before using lights when decorating, make sure that they are not damaged, avoid using more than three sets of light on a single extension cord and don't overload electrical outlets.

Other decorations should be flame-resistant and made of non-leaded materials. Avoid breakable decorations on the tree and make sure the tree is secure and can't be easily tipped over. Tinsel and small decorations should not be put near the bottom of the tree where they can be easily in reach of young children. You should also avoid edible decorations, including popcorn chains and candy canes, since younger children may think that all of the decorations are edible.

Keep in mind that artificial snow and flocking materials are not edible, so you may want to avoid them if there are younger children in the home.

Candles should never be left unattended, placed in an area where they can be easily knocked over or near flammable curtains or decorations.

Also be careful of heavy stocking holders that toddlers and preschoolers can pull down on top of themselves, which is becoming an increasing common hazard as use of these heavy stocking hangers become more popular.

Outdoor Safety

Encourage your child to wear a helmet when using a snowmobile, and while skiing or sledding.

You should also try to prevent snowmobile injuries which are a common cause of injury in children, with some being fatal. The AAP recommends that their use be restricted to children over age 16 who have received proper instruction and are wearing protective equipment, including a helmet goggles and boots. You can also keep your child safe while snowmobile riding by limiting their use to marked and maintained snowmobile trails.

Dress your child appropriately for the weather so that he doesn't get too wet or cold.

Also keep a close eye on your children when shopping, as it is easily to get lost or taken in a busy store or shopping center.

Helping Children During the Holidays

In addition to being fun, the holidays can be stressful for some children. Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase your child's stress levels. Trying to stick to your child's usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.

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