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Trauma Care

Staying Safe Helps Keep the Holidays Merry and Bright

Comfort Kits Helping Trauma Families Between decking the halls, hosting and attending holiday parties, and giving and receiving gifts, it is important to always keep safety in mind. Syndi Bultman, trauma injury prevention and resource manager at Lee Memorial Health System's Trauma Center, provides the following tips and information:

Decorations

  • When looking for an artificial tree, make sure the label says "Fire Resistant"
  • If you are getting a live tree, make sure it is fresh—it should be green and have needles that don't break and are hard to pull off
  • Make sure lights are not damaged—check for frayed wires and/or loose connections
  • Never use more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord and don't overload electrical outlets
  • Do not use electric lights on a metallic tree because the tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights and can be an electrocution threat
  • Be sure to check that lights used outside are certified for outdoor use
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house—an electrical short can start a fire
  • Do not place candles unattended or next to flammable items like curtains, furniture or decorations
  • Keep all matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children
  • If decorating with live plants or greenery, be aware of which plants are poisonous and should be kept out of reach of children and pets—examples include mistletoe, Boston and English ivy, and holly berries. If accidentally ingested, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep hot liquids and foods away from the edges of counters and tables, where they can be easily knocked over by a young child
  • Remember food safety—keep hot foods hot and cold food cold; foods that require refrigeration should never be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours; thaw meat in the refrigerator, never on the countertop

Holiday Parties and Visits

  • Don't assume that babies and children are being supervised just because they are sitting in a room full of people—designate a caregiver or consider hiring a babysitter if you are hosting or attending a party
  • Keep small candies and nuts out of the reach of small children, as they can pose a choking hazard
  • Alcoholic beverages can be poisonous for small children; make sure all glasses are cleaned up so there is no unintentional consumption
  • Create a laminated list of all important phone numbers you or a babysitter will need in case of an emergency—include police, fire department, pediatrician and Poison Control
  • If you are hosting a party, have nonalcoholic beverages available for party guests and find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests
  • Arrange to have a designated driver who will not drink at all—never drink and drive

Toy and Gift Safety

  • Select toys suitable to a child's age, abilities, skills and interest—toys too advanced can pose safety hazards
  • For infants, toddlers and children who still put objects in their mouth, avoid toys with small parts and look for sturdy construction on plush toys—like tightly secured eyes and noses
  • Avoid toys with sharp edges and points—especially for children younger than age 8
  • Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children younger than age 8
  • Read labels on toys—check for age and safety recommendations
  • When purchasing a bicycle, scooter, in-line skates or skateboards, purchase the safety equipment that goes with it—helmets, elbow and kneepads
  • A helmet should be level on the head. The front edge should be no more than one inch above the eyebrows, and the helmet should not move on the head. Do not purchase a helmet that is too large for the child's head

“If decorating with live plants or greenery, be aware of which plants are poisonous and should be kept out of reach of children and pets—examples include mistletoe, Boston and English ivy, and holly berries. If accidentally ingested, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222”

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