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12 Holiday Hazard Tips for 12 Days of Christmas

In the spirit of the English carol “12 Days of Christmas,” we encourage you to practice “12 Days of Safety” for each day leading up to December 25th.

December 14

Make sure your home is poison-proof if small children are visiting. Secure all medicines, cleaning products and personal care products before your guests arrive.

Poisonings can occur in the home of grandparents who may not remember how quickly children can move or how inventive they can be in exploring new spaces.

December 15

Take steps to prevent food poisoning. Prior to food preparation, clean all counters and cutting boards with hot water and soap, and wash your hands. After meals, refrigerate food promptly.

December 16

If you use alcohol or tobacco, make sure these products are out of reach of toddlers.

December 17

Keep your Christmas tree fresh with water early on, and keep all sources of flame well away from the tree. Put fresh batteries in all your smoke detectors.

December 18

Carbon monoxide can be a holiday killer. Never heat a home with a gas stovetop, gas oven or use charcoal indoors. Make sure your chimney flue is fully open before enjoying a holiday evening in front of the fireplace. Keep outdoor generators away from windows.

Keep flammables away from floor furnaces.

December 19

Holiday gifts can have flat, coin-shaped batteries. If swallowed, these can cause serious injury. Keep all batteries away from babies, children and pets!

December 20

Don’t let babies or pets chew on foil wrapping paper. It may contain lead. Do not throw this paper into the fireplace either.

December 21

Holiday plants, including mistletoe and holly berries, may cause some mild stomach upset if swallowed.

December 22

Store and serve food only in containers meant for food, and never put non-food items in food containers.

December 23

Lead can still be found in new and used children’s products, like toys, backpacks, lunchboxes and jewelry. Find out about product recalls and tested products at Healthy Stuff.

December 24

If using snow spray or flocking the tree indoors, be sure to open windows while applying it. Solvents in the spray cans may cause nausea, lightheadedness and headache.

December 25

Merry Christmas! Have the poison control number 1-800-222-1222 in the address book for all phones. Call anytime, 24/7 for expert advice or questions.