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 to protect your little ones during this holiday season.
- 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.
- 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 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 Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
- Inspect all electrical toys periodically. Repair, replace or discard deteriorating toys.
- Ban play with electrical toys near water, and make sure your children understand that water and electricity don’t mix.
- All electrical toys should be put away in a dry storage area out of reach of younger children immediately after use.
- Christmas, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day lead the year for candle fires, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Make sure your festive decorations are free of 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 reach of small children.
- Never allow children to play with lights, electrical decorations or cords.
Here are some safety tips to keep little kitchen helpers in check:
- 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 F or below 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.