Mommy Minute: Is your family taking precautions to protect against holiday dangers?

Mommy Minute

(WHTM) — Warnings around the holiday are nothing new. Each year, families are advised to take precautions when it comes to toys and children, cooking, and decorations.

But the numbers don’t lie and every year families continue to find themselves in dangerous and even deadly situations.

Last year alone there were nearly 150,000 toy-related injuries treated in the emergency room, including nine child deaths.

“Of the nine toy-related deaths, the majority were from small parts and choking,” said Nikki Fleming of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “So it’s important to choose an age-appropriate toy. Use that age labeling on the product packaging as a guide and choose the right toy for the right age child.”

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With warnings about a possible toy shortage this year, parents might be tempted to buy from new retailers. But, Fleming says, buyer beware.

“Start with a seller you know and trust,” she said. “That’s so important. Also, if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. It could be a counterfeit product, so avoid that product as well.”

Cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires and on holidays the statistics can triple. Never leave a stove unattended and if you’re frying a turkey, keep it outside.

“Away from the home,” Fleming said. “Not in the garage, not on the porch, but away from the home.”

Another shocking number; each day in the U.S. there are about 160 decorating-related injuries. Falls are the most common.

“If you’re getting outside this holiday season to string your holiday lights, make sure you take a buddy with you,” Fleming suggested.

Unattended candles are also a concern. And if you’re using a live Christmas tree, make sure you pay attention to it daily. A dry tree is a dangerous tree.

“Keep that tree well-watered and hydrated,” Fleming said. “Water that tree every day. Also, if you’re using holiday decorating lights for that tree and you’re pulling it out of the attic and other storage areas, make sure there’s no frayed wires, no broken sockets. It might be time to replace those lights.”

For more holiday information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, click here.

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