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Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

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Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

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2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

Health Tips: Holiday Decorating Safety

separator Each year, there are about 10,800 hospital emergency room visits caused by falls, shocks and cuts related to holiday decorating and fireplace accidents.

We’d like to help you avoid an ER visit this season, so keep these tips in mind: 

For fireplaces:

  • Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. Wrappings ignite suddenly and can cause flash fires and burns.
  • If you use “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when you throw them on the fire, keep them away from children. Fire salts can cause stomach pain and vomiting if eaten.

 For the tree:

  • Cut off about two inches of the trunk. Fresh wood absorbs water better. Keep the tree stand filled with water.
  • The needles should be hard to pull from the branches and they shouldn’t break when you bend them.
  • Don’t set the tree up near a fireplace or radiator.
  • Keep the tree out of the way of traffic and don’t block doorways.
  • If you use artificial trees, look for ones that are labeled “fire resistant.” This doesn’t mean they can’t catch on fire, but it does mean that if they do, the fire will be fairly easy to put out.

 For lights:

  • Make sure any lights you buy, for inside or outside, have some kind of seal or stamp or other indication that they’ve been tested for safety by a recognized laboratory.
  • Check your sets of lights, whether they’re new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or otherwise damaged wires.
  • Don’t overload extension cords. Use no more than three sets of standard-size lights per cord.
  • Make sure lights you use outside have been approved for outdoor use
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed and when you go out. The lights can short out and start a fire.

 For decorations:

  • Use flame-resistant or non-combustible materials for decorating a tree
  • If there are small children in your home, avoid using decorations that are sharp or breakable.
  • Keep “bubbling lights” away from children. Children are very attracted to these, but the liquid inside is hazardous, and the candle-shaped glass can break and cause cuts.

 For candles:

  • Keep matches, lighters and candles away from children. And never leave candles unattended. If you’re going out, the candles should go out too.
  • Don’t use lighted candles on the tree or near other evergreen decorations

Consumer Product Safety Commission.
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