The National Safety Council offers these suggestions for making your holiday season not only merry, but safe:
- Decorations: wear gloves when handling prickly trees and spun glass “angel hair,” and avoid spraying artificial snow onto angel hair because the combination can be combustible.
- When using artificial snow, follow instructions carefully. Sprays can irritate the lungs ifavoiding holiday mishaps inhaled.
- Fireplaces: Don’t burn evergreens or wreaths in the fireplace to dispose of them; they can flare out of control. Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace because it contains metallic substances that can be toxic when burned.
- Candles: Never use near trees, boughs, curtains, or other potentially flammable materials.
- Toys and gifts: For infants and small children, be sure gifts are too big to be swallowed (or stuck in the ears). Avoid toys with small parts.
- Plants: Be aware that some holiday plants can cause stomach problems, so keep mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis out of children’s reach.
- Food: Follow safe food-handling practices with raw poultry. For questions call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline.
- Alcohol and parties: More than half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Be a responsible host: make sure drinkers get home safely.
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