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■ play it safe •


Kid-Proof Your Christmas Toys and decorations leave kids more vulnerable to accidents


BY GUY DALE COORDINATOR OF SAFETY & LOSS CONTROL


I


love the holiday season as much as anyone, but I also realize all the excitment and distractions make it a prime time for accidents, especially for younger children. More electrical cords, extension cords in high-traffic areas, electric lights on the tree, burning candles, fires in the fireplace, and pots simmering on the stove mean more potential hazards for kids.


The U.S. Fire Administration reports that twice as many kids die or are injured by fires during the holidays than at any other time of the year.


Before you get too busy with holiday preparations, I encourage you to sit your kids down and talk about holiday safety.


Some cautions: • •


Electrical accidents involving children are far more likely to happen when no adult is supervising the kids.


Keep children away from cords and decorations to prevent shocks and burns. Avoid decorating the bottom limbs of the tree, where children can easily reach.


• •


Don’t leave children alone with a lighted fireplace, candles or an operating space heater.


Every time you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove, even if you’re not finished cooking. Move hot pots to back burners.





Teach your children that hot things can burn them. When they’re old enough, teach them how to cook and to use the stove safely.


Choose battery-powered toys instead of electric versions for children younger than 10. Make sure electrical toys bear a safety label from UL or another credible testing agency.





If you bring your children to someone else’s home, do a visual sweep for potential hazards, like exposed electrical outlets and cords or lighted candles.


Guy Dale oversees CEC safety programs and teaches CPR courses for the public. To visit with Guy Dale about a safety concern, or to schedule a CPR class, please


call him at 800-780-6486, ext. 227.


Lucky Account #38431200. $25 BILL CREDIT! If this number matches the account number on your bill, you must notify CEC by the 10th of month (via email, phone, or in person) to claim the $25 bill credit. (Unclaimed credits roll over to the next month; up to a $100 bill credit.) Please call 800-780-6486, ext. 207.


DANGEROUS TOYS


Even Santa’s elves make mistakes


In the rush to produce all those fun, top selling toys, even Santa’s eleves make mistakes. That’s where WATCH comes in. WATCH, or World Against Toys Causing Harm, is a nonprofit children’s safety advocacy group that carefully reviews toys and makes public a list of the ten top toys that could injure or kill a child. They base their rankings on actual reported injuries so the list is well worth reviewing.


From Lawn Darts to chemistry sets, these toys pose real risks you should know about before you buy. Be sure to check out the list at www.toysafety.org.


12 | december 2013


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