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Bloggers focusing on the holidays despite the pandemic

Don’t let a fire or the injury of a child ruin your holiday season

CPSC Christmas Tree Burn in Bright Flames 2019The holidays may be different during the pandemic because family gatherings may be smaller or people may be visiting virtually.

However, it’s still important to protect yourself from possible dangers associated with holiday trees, candles, cooking fires, and unsafe toys.

To keep the season safe, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers this information:

Toys

Data

  • Choking on small parts and riding toy injuries: CPSC reports that in 2019 there were an estimated 162,700 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries and 14 deaths to children younger than 15. Most of the deaths were caused by choking on small parts, such as small balls and small toy parts, and riding toys.
  • Toy recalls: There were nine toy recalls in fiscal year 2020, three involving a lead violation. Toys were also recalled for defects, such as choking, entrapment, ingestion, and laceration hazards. Recalled toys present choking, entrapment, ingestion, and laceration hazards, among other hazards that pose the threat of death or injury to a child. 
  • Scooters: The number of injuries associated with non-motorized scooters in 2019 for children younger than 15 was about 35,600.

Tips

  • Follow age guidance and other safety information on the toy packaging, and choose toys that match your child’s interests and abilities.
  • Get safety gear, including helmets for scooters and other riding toys. Helmets should be worn properly at all times and be sized to fit.
  • Keep small balls and toys with small parts away from children younger than age 3, and keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old. Discard broken balloons at once. 

Cooking

Data

  • Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of residential fires.
  • An average of 1,700 cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day each year, more than three times the average number on any other day of the year.
  • In the last two decades, there were 220 fire or scald/burn incidents involving turkey fryers, resulting in 81 injuries and $9.7 million in property loss.  

Tips

  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove.
  • Keep children away from the cooking area, and keep flammable items, such as potholders and paper or plastic bags, away from the stove and oven.
  • Only fry a turkey outside and away from your home, not inside your garage, or on your porch.  Don’t overfill the oil in the turkey fryer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on use, including thawing your turkey thoroughly and maintaining control of the oil temperature.

Decorating

Data

  • On average, there are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with about half of the incidents involving falls. During the 2018 holiday season, about 17,500 people were treated in emergency rooms due to holiday decorating-related injuries.
  • In the 2019 holiday season, there were six deaths associated with holiday season decorations.
  • From 2015 to 2017, on average, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires (in November and December), resulting in 20 deaths, 160 injuries, and nearly $50 million in property damage each year.

Tips

  • Make sure your live Christmas tree has plenty of water, and look for the "Fire Resistant” label when buying an artificial tree.
  • Place burning candles in sight, away from flammable items, and blow them out before leaving the room.
  • Only use lights tested for safety by a national recognized testing laboratory.  Throw out sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed, or bare wires, or loose connections. 

To see a dry Christmas tree, turkey fryer, and candle burn, see the CPSC’s Holiday Safety video B-roll.

For more information on how to be safe during the holidays, visit CPSC’s Holiday Safety Information Center.

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