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DECEMBER 2012  PLAY IT SAFE Beware of toys that pack a punch


Take precautions to head off holiday disasters BY GUY DALE coordinator of safety & loss control


T


he most wonderful time of the year can also be very stressful. No one needs a holiday accident to add to the anxiety. A few safety reminders can help protect you and your little ones this holiday season.


Electronic gifts About 70 percent of child-related electrical accidents occur at home when adults are nearby.. Remember that electric-powered toys and other devices can be hazardous if they aren’t operated properly or are used without proper supervision.


• Don’t buy a toy for a child too young to use it safely. Always check the age recommendation on the package, and remember this is a minimum age recommendation. Always 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 electrical toys carry a fire safety label from an independent testing laboratory, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.).





Inspect all electrical toys periodically. Repair, replace, or throw away broken toys.


• Never play with electrical toys near water, and make sure your kids understand that water and electricity don’t mix.


• All electrical toys should be put away immediately after use in a dry storage area out of the reach of younger children.


Decorating safely


Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day lead the year for candle fires, according to Electrical Safety Foundation, Inc. (ESFI). Check your decorations for 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 unused outlets or extension cords with plastic caps or electrical tape to prevent children from coming in contact with a live circuit.


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


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


Guy Dale oversees all safety programs for CEC. He also teaches CPR classes for the public. To schedule a CPR course, please call him at 800-780-6486, ext. 227.


Routine Safety & Maintenance


A well-maintained vehicle is safer on the road. Here are the major areas you or your technician should check to make sure your vehicle is functioning properly.


Tires: Check for badly worn or bald tires. Make sure your tires have the proper inflation pressure. The recommended tire pressure is usually posted on the edge of the drivers’ door or in your vehicle’s owner manual.


Brakes: Brakes should feel firm and the pedal should not depress more than about half way to the floor. The brakes should also be checked periodically.


Lights: Headlights and other lights should be checked from time to time to insure they area all working.


Fluid levels: Oil, transmission and coolant levels should be checked whenever you have an oil change. For most vehicles that is every three months or 3,000 miles. Ask that all other fluids and all engine belts be checked at this time. Fluids should also be checked periodically between oil changes.


CEC offers AARP defensive driving classes for the public. To enroll or to schedule a class for a group or organization, please contact Brad Kendrick, 800-780-6486, ext 248.


PAGE 7 AARP DRIVER SAFETY TIP


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