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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Experts Offer Tips for Keeping this Holiday Season Safe

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh wants families to enjoy this holiday season – safe from the hazards presented by some toys and seasonal decorations such as Christmas trees and lights.

As parents begin to deck the halls and shop for the hottest toys, Children’s physicians and safety experts are offering tips to keep kids safe.

“With the hustle and bustle of the season, parents may overlook something that could lead to an otherwise preventable injury. Children shouldn’t be given toys with small pieces that they could choke on or jagged edges that could cut,” said Richard A. Saladino, chief of emergency medicine at Children’s. “We want families to spend this holiday season in the company of loved ones, not visiting our Emergency Department.”

Other winter holiday tips available at Children’s Injury Prevention Web site include:

  • Make sure lights are marked with the UL Seal. (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization).
  • Do not overload electric outlets or extension cords.
  • Never use indoor lights outside.
  • Never put nails through wires when hanging lights.

When using a live Christmas tree:

  • Select a fresh tree and check the branches every day to make sure it isn’t drying out. Trees usually dry out in 10-15 days.
  • Keep the tree stand filled with water.

When using an artificial tree:

  • Make sure the tree is labeled “fire resistant.”
  • Place the tree away from heat sources such as radiators or fireplaces.
  • Aluminum and metallic trees should not be decorated with lights. They may conduct electricity and cause electrocution.
  • Avoid using small ornaments that could be swallowed by a child.

More tips and information on holiday safety are available at Children’s Injury Prevention Web site.

Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5016,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
June 17, 2008
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Last Update
June 17, 2008