WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation prepares to celebrate the holidays, a new report published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has highlighted the importance of avoiding potential hazards associated with holiday traditions and products.
CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric stated that everyone needs to take steps to help keep this holiday season safer. Mr. Hoehn-Saric believes the following guidelines can help families avoid an emergency room visit this holiday season. The CPSC Chair also stated that defective toys, decorations, cooking fires, holiday trees, and candles cause thousands of injuries and fatalities every year. The following are some important safety tips provided by the CPSC:
Toys – Thousands of children in the United States are injured or killed by dangerous toys every year. The CPSC reports that there were about 150,000 children who visited the emergency room due to dangerous toys, and nine of those children were tragically killed. The most common injury involves children choking on small toy parts. Non-motorized scooters cause about 21% of all toy injuries treated at U.S. emergency rooms. This was a 17% increase over the year prior.
Cooking – Cooking fires are the # 1 cause of home fires. According to recent CPSC data, there are approximately 360,000 home fires annually. These fires tragically kill more than 2,400 people and injure another 10,000 every year. The holiday season brings about three times the average number of cooking fires. One particular danger is turkey fryers. The CPSC has recorded 222 fire or scald/burn accidents involving turkey fryers leading to 83 burn injuries and more than $9 million in property losses.
Decorating – Holiday decorations can actually be hidden dangers in the home. For example, burning candles, Christmas trees, and holiday lights pose a significant fire hazard when they are not used properly. Every year there are around 160 decorating-related injuries reported each day during the holidays. Most of those injuries involve fall accidents. In 2019, nearly 15,000 people received emergency room treatment due to holiday decorating-related injuries.
Each year there are 100 Christmas tree fires and 1,100 candle fires, leading to 180 injuries, 30 deaths, and about $56 million in property loss.
The CPSC recommends the following safety tips to keep your family safe during the holiday season:
CPSC Toy Safety Guidelines:
- Observe the age guidance and all safety information provided on the toy packaging.
- Purchase safety gear, such as bicycle helmets, and make sure your children use them.
- Keep small toy parts and deflated balloons away from small children.
Shopping Online Safety Tips: Shopping online for products is convenient, particularly during toy shortages. However, you should follow these important online shopping safety tips.
- Buy from stores that you know and trust.
- To avoid counterfeit toys. If the price is too reasonable to be true, this could be an indication that the product is fake.
- Choose products that have certification marks from an independent testing organization.
Cooking Safety Tips:
- Do not leave food cooking and unattended.
- Fry turkey outside and away from your house.
Holiday Decorating Safety Tips:
- Look for the “Fire Resistant” labels if purchasing an artificial tree.
- Keep your Christmas tree in water.
- Keep watch over burning candles. Keep them away from flammable items, and extinguish them before leaving the room.
For more helpful resources, visit CPSC’s Holiday Safety Information Center.
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