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Holiday Electrical Safety Tips for Children

Thursday, November 15, 2007 General News J E 4
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ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 15 The holiday season is aspecial time of year filled with gatherings and decorations. Unfortunately, itis also a time when parents overlook the increased dangers their youngchildren face. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) urgesparents to keep their toddlers safe by recognizing and removing the additionalshock and fire hazards that the winter months bring.

According to the US Fire Administration, young children are twice aslikely to die in a home fire as the rest of the population. In addition, thenumber of children injured and killed by fires more than doubles during theholiday season.

Fortunately, parents can prevent these tragedies before they happen.Decorations and holiday lights can beckon a child to grab hold for a closerlook -- or worse, if they end up in an infant's mouth. To prevent this, avoidputting tree lights, ornaments, and other small "mouth-size" decorations nearthe ground or on the lower limbs of a Christmas tree, where they can easily bereached by a child.

Another favorite target of small children are power cords. Consequently,parents should replace a worn or frayed electrical cord with one that isappropriately insulated and protected. An even better idea is to keep youngchildren away from cords altogether, since a child can choke on as little as12 inches of cord.

ESFI also recommends the following tips for keeping children safe thisholiday season:

ESFI reminds everyone that electricity is a powerful tool. It can also bea lethal hazard. Better safety standards have reduced electrical hazards thatcause deaths, injuries and property damage. But good safety habits are stillthe best prevention against electrical hazards.

For more holiday electrical safety information, please visit ESFI at:http://www.holidaysafety.org.-- Never leave a child unsupervised while cooking or when an electric or gas stove is within reach. Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires during the holidays. -- To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don't give young children a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated. -- Don't use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised. Children may stick their fingers or other objects through the protective guards, causing burns or shock.

SOURCE Electrical Safety Foundation International
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