November 2012 Health Beat

Karen’s Kolumn is written by Karen Dolley, R.N. and Grange Friend… we appreciate her knowledge and her willingness to share!

The holiday season is right around the corner!  All is calm, all is bright. Not always!

Holiday related injuries like falls, cuts, bruises, and burns are increasing. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 13,000 people were treated in emergency rooms between November and December 2010 for injuries involving holiday decorations. Many of these injuries occurred due to falls from ladders while hanging indoor and outdoor holiday lights. Injuries also occurred while hanging other Christmas decorations. Other causes of injuries include cuts from broken glass ornaments and burns from candle fires and live tree fires.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following safety tips to help keep your home safe this holiday season. If you buy a live tree, make sure that it is fresh. A fresh tree is green and the needles are hard to knock off of the branches. Tap the tree on the ground. A fresh tree should not lose many needles. Place Christmas trees away from heat sources like fireplaces, heating vents, and radiators. Monitor water levels in a live tree carefully and keep the tree stand filled with water. If you buy an artificial tree, look for a label that says “fire resistant”. Avoid sharp and breakable Christmas decorations and keep all decorations and trimmings out of the reach of children and pets. Keep burning candles within sight. Extinguish candles before you go to bed, before you leave the room, or before you leave the house. Keep all candles away from children and pets. Avoid placing candles next to items that can catch fire easily. Use indoor and outdoor holiday lights that are UL approved. These lights have met strict requirements for safety. Throw out any damaged lights. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Use heavy duty extension cords. Do not burn wrapping paper in a fireplace. Holiday wrap can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

For more information on holiday safety, visit www.cpsc.gov. Have a safe 2012 Holiday Season

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