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Can Holiday Decorations Be Dangerous?

By Breyer Law Offices on December 22, 2017

The holidays are a time for family, tradition, reflection on the past year, and hope for the new one. It’s a time to come together and be thankful for what we have and share with others what we can. Most families spend time decorating before festivities begin; they put up trees, hang ornaments, and light candles. It’s important to consider a few safety hazards during this time in order to minimize the likelihood of anyone experiencing injuries, especially children.
According to PubMed.gov, holiday ornament-related injuries typically involve glass injuries or choking/swallowing injuries. Their research concluded that most people are injured because of glass ornaments that shatter and cause eye, foot, or hand lacerations. Children are injured more often than adults because they grab the glass ornaments and break them, and they also are more likely to step on shattered glass. Children also swallow small ornaments, light bulbs, and ornament pieces. Finally, electrocution is possible if a child puts his or her mouth on an exposed bulb or wire.

Parents and caregivers can work to minimize the risk of injury by following a few safety precautions, including:

  • Place glass ornaments higher on the tree out of reach of small children, or don’t use them at all.
  • Make sure ornaments are tightly attached to the tree and not easily pulled down.
  • Keep cords and lights out of reach of small children.
  • Sweep up and discard all small pieces, including broken ornaments, tree needles, string, etc.
  • Cover electrical outlets when not in use.
  • Dispose of broken ornaments immediately.
  • Watch for dangling light strands or sashes that can present a choking hazard.
  • Supervise children at all times around holiday decorations.

It’s also important to remember that you’ll encounter holiday decorations at most places you visit during the season, including schools, malls, friend’s houses, post offices, and grocery stores. For example, Arizona Mills will be decorated for the holidays and include photo sessions with Santa Claus. Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix will host “snow nights” during the season when shoppers can enjoy the decor. The Melrose District is welcoming shoppers with seasonal decor and unique gifts.

While shopping, it’s important to supervise your children and instruct them not to touch ornaments, pull on lights, or touch wires. If you’re grocery shopping, seat-belt small children into the shopping cart and keep them distracted with a toy while you shop. If at the mall, bring a stroller or baby carrier so you can shop and keep an eye on your tot at the same time.

As always, the team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., is here to help in the event you are injured, and we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

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