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Your Health

Special Health Topics

Holiday Season Help

Use Common Sense...

Emotions run high during the holiday season and there is a greater risk for accidents around the home. Valley View Hospital is urging people to celebrate with an eye to safety this holiday season. Look for potential danger spots and eliminate them.

Consider children and pets

Place poisonous seasonal plants, such as mistletoe, poinsettia, amaryllis, azalea, holly berries & boxwood on high shelves so toddlers and pets cannot eat them. When you're entertaining, keep choking hazards such as bit-size appetizers, nuts and grapes out of the reach of small children.

Never leave children or pets unsupervised in a room with lit candles, a burning fireplace, a wood burning stove or a portable heater. Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children.

Christmas trees

Many artificial trees are fire resistant. If you buy one, look for a statement dealing with the duration of the protection.A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To check for freshness, see that the tree is green and the needles are hard to pull from the branches. The trunk should be sticky with resin and the needles don't break when bent between your fingers.

Cut off about two inches of the trunk and mount the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand with widespread legs. Fill the base holder with water deep enough to cover the bottom of the tree. Keep it full while the tree is inside. Remember that heated rooms dry out trees rapidly, which creates a fire hazard.

Secure the tree so that toddlers and pets can't topple it. Fasten large trees to the wall or the ceiling with thin wires. The wires will be nearly invisible and you won't have to worry about the tree falling over. Move any pointed decorations or ornaments to high branches. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food. Children may be tempted to eat them.

Holiday lights

Only lights that have been tested for safety should be used, inside or outside. These will have a "UL" label from Underwriters' Laboratories. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires,or loose connections. Replace any damaged lights. Don't use indoor lights outside or vice versa. Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees or house walls to protect them from wind damage. Use no more than three sets of lights per single extension cord. Turn off all tree lights and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short and start a fire.

Candles

Never burn candles on a tree or near decorative greens on a mantle or table. Be sure that candles are well away from children. Always use non-flammable holders. Keep candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.

Fireplaces

Don't burn evergreens in the fireplace. Their flames can flare out of control, sending sparks into the room. Remove all wrapping paper from the fireplace and Christmas tree areas immediately after the presents are opened."Don't burn the wrapping in a fireplace. A flash fire may result because wrappings can ignite suddenly and burn fiercely".

There's a lot to remember to provide a safe holiday for your family, but the effort is well worth the peace of mind that we all seek during the holidays.

Have a safe & happy holiday season!

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