Holidays can be busy and joyous times but holiday decorations and new toys can bring risks along with festive cheer. Stay safe by knowing how to manage the health or safety hazards of holiday items you bring into your home.
- When buying a real tree, make sure it’s fresh (you can tell if the needles are hard to pull off). Water the tree daily once you bring it indoors for decorating.
- Keep metal, sharp or breakable tree ornaments with small removable parts away from young children.
- Dispose of the tree as soon as the holidays are over, or as soon as the needles start to fall. Dispose of it according to local regulations–most municipalities have tree recycling programs.
Holiday lights and decorations
- Choose the right light for the job: light strings and other decorations are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Ensure that indoor lights and decorations are only used inside. Read the package instructions and do not exceed the recommended wattage.
- Check the light strings and extension cords you use, discarding any that are frayed or have exposed wires, loose connections or broken light sockets. Never run electrical cords through doorways or under carpets.
- Avoid plugging too many lights and decorations into an outlet. Overloaded circuits can overheat and start a fire.
Toy safety tips
- Read and follow the age labels, warnings, safety messages and other instructions that come with a toy. Check for contact information of the manufacturer or importer if you have any concerns.
- Dispose immediately all toy packaging like plastic bags, plastic wrap, foam, staples, ties and protective film. A child can suffocate or choke on these items.
- Ensure batteries are not accessible to children and are properly installed by an adult.