Child­proof Dec­o­rat­ing Tips

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The hol­i­days are a mag­i­cal time of year for chil­dren who take plea­sure in the bright lights, won­der­ful treats, and shiny new toys that come with the sea­son. How­ever, the most cher­ished tra­di­tions of the hol­i­day sea­son can also be haz­ardous. The safety of chil­dren, a high-risk pop­u­la­tion for fire deaths and home in­juries, must be a pri­mary con­cern dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son.

We rec­om­mend tak­ing the fol­low­ing safety pre­cau­tions to en­sure that this spe­cial time of year does not re­sult in a dec­o­ra­tion-re­lated tragedy:

• Read the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions and warn­ing la­bels for any dec­o­ra­tion that will be used around young chil­dren, such as elec­tronic trains or an­i­ma­tronic dolls. Note if it is ap­pro­pri­ate for their age group and de­ter­mine whether adult su­per­vi­sion is re­quired; plan ac­cord­ingly.

• In­stead of tra­di­tional can­dles, try us­ing bat­tery-op­er­ated can­dles so you can avoid the haz­ards as­so­ci­ated with open flames.

• Keep can­dles, matches and lighters out of reach in a locked cab­i­net.

• Never leave chil­dren un­su­per­vised when can­dles are lit.

• Strings of lights and gar­land are sta­ples of hol­i­day dec­o­rat­ing but they can also pose a stran­gu­la­tion haz­ard. They should never be used as play­things.

• In homes with small chil­dren, try to avoid us­ing dec­o­ra­tions that are sharp or break­able. Oth­er­wise, re­mem­ber to place glass and break­able ornaments out of the reach of small chil­dren.

• Avoid putting Christ­mas tree lights, ornaments, metal hooks, and other small “mouth-sized” dec­o­ra­tions near the ground or on lower limbs where they may be eas­ily reached by young chil­dren.

• Holly berries, wax fruits, and other dec­o­rat­ing items can present chok­ing haz­ards. Re­mem­ber to keep this in mind when ar­rang­ing

your dec­o­ra­tions.

• Cover any un­used out­lets on ex­ten­sion cords with plas­tic caps to pre­vent chil­dren from com­ing in con­tact with the live cir­cuit.

• Place elec­tri­cal cords out of the reach of small chil­dren.

• Never al­low chil­dren to play with lights, elec­tri­cal dec­o­ra­tions or cords.

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