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Keeping Children Safe From Electrical Hazards During the Holidays

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, deaths related to household fires caused by children are highest during the holiday season, with the number of children injured or killed by fires more than doubling this time of year.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offers these tips for keeping children safe.

  • Keep young children away from holiday lights, electrical decorations and extension cords to prevent electrical shock and burn injuries.
  • When visiting family and friends, make sure that the home is safe for young children. Look for and eliminate potential dangers around electrical outlets, candles, and exposed electrical cords.
  • Avoid hanging Christmas tree lights, ornaments, metal hooks, and other small decorations on the lower limbs of the tree where they could easily be reached by a small child.
  • Never leave a child unattended while cooking or when a stove is within reach.
  • Never use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised. Children may stick their fingers or other objects through the protective guards, causing burns or shock.
  • Replace electrical toys with battery-operated alternatives for children under ten years old.
  • Avoid buying toys that might be flammable, and be sure all electrical toys bear a safety label from a nationally-recognized testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, or ETL.

Learn more about holiday electrical safety at holidaysafety.org.

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