Watch that tree!
The holidays are an
exciting time of year, especially for kids. Here are some
tips to help
ensure they — and you! — have
a safe holiday season, courtesy of the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP).
O, Christmas tree …
- When purchasing a live tree,
check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are
hard to pull from branches and
between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt
of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on
the tree should not lose many needles. When purchasing an
artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant."
- When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces,
radiators or portable heaters and do not block doorways.
- Cut a few inches off the trunk to expose the fresh wood.
This allows for better water absorption and will help to
tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
- Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated
rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree
can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and
a person touching
a branch could be electrocuted.
- Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they
have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place,
them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks.
Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
- Check all tree lights — even if you've just purchased them — before
hanging them on your tree. Make sure all the bulbs work and
that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
- Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with
ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
- Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
The lights could short out and start a fire.