LSU Ag Center
Now that the holiday season is well on the way, it’s important to keep in mind a few safety tips for around the home and for toys.
Christmas Tree Safety
• If purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green and the needles are hard to pull from branches. Make sure to keep the tree watered daily.
• Make sure the lights you put on the tree are safe and work properly. Turn off your lights when you are not at home.
• Make sure decorations are flame resistant. If you decide to trim your tree with “edible” decorations make sure they are out of reach of children.
• If you have small children, make sure the ornaments that are breakable are out of their way.
• Make sure you discard all wrapping paper, boxes and bows are away from the fireplace.
• Select toys that are age and skill appropriate for children. Toys that are too advanced can be a safety risk.
• Always check the Consumer Product Safety Commission for toys that are recalled.
• If you are buying toys for children under three, make sure the parts are bigger than 1¼ inch in diameter and longer than 2¼ inch long.
• Be careful of pull strings, ribbons or strings as they could be a strangulation hazard.
Food Safety During the Holidays
• Make sure to wash your hands often before, during and after food preparation.
• Raw foods can often have bacteria present in them so make sure you thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables; and fully cook all meat and poultry products.
• Make sure hot pots, slow cookers and coffee pot handles are turned away from little ones hands so they are not injured.
• Just because the temperatures are much cooler than in July and August, remember to get home as soon as possible with your groceries to prevent food spoilage.
• Always keep raw foods separate from cooked foods and use separate utensils when preparing them.
• Always thaw meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter top.
• Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
Though many homes in south Louisiana do not have fireplaces, some do and it’s important to remember a few safety tips.
• Before lighting any fires, remove all papers and decorations from fireplace area. Make sure the flue is open.
• Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace.
The tips above can help keep you and your family safe this holiday season.
Information obtained from the American Academy of Pediatrics. www.aap.org.
For more information about this topic or any other contact Mandy G. Armentor, MS, RD, LDN, Assoc. Extension Agent (FCS-Nutrition), in the Vermilion Parish LSU AgCenter Office at 1105 W. Port St. in Abbeville or call 898-4335.