Injury Prevention Center

Holiday Safety Tips to Help Families Have a Safe and Relaxing Holiday

The holiday season brings joy to many families with the arrival of festive decorations and new toys. But these things can also pose hazards to children. The Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital offers tips for families on celebrating safely this holiday season.

“More than 100,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year for toy-related injuries,” said Dina Morrissey, MD, research associate for the Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “One-third of those injuries occur in children under five years old, with choking being one of the biggest issues.”

Morrissey added that holiday decorations can also create hazards and should be used with care. She offered the following holiday safety tips aimed at keeping the holiday season a festive and relaxing one:

Toy Safety 

  • Read labels on toy packages to ensure you are buying toys that are age appropriate.
  • Store toys for kids of different ages in separate bins.
  • Look for warning signs on packages, such as “WARNING: Choking Hazard.”
  • When buying bikes and scooters, make sure your gift also comes with a helmet.
  • Check the webpage often for a list of recalled toys.
  • Children under five should not be given anything with small detachable parts.
  • Keep small magnets away from children. These include magnets found on construction sets, children’s toys, refrigerator magnets, and earth magnets such as Buckyballs. Symptoms of a swallowed magnet include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Decoration Safety

  • Keep all holiday decorations, including the Christmas tree, at least three feet from heat sources.
  • When buying a real tree, make sure it is green and fresh. Don’t forget to water it daily.
  • When buying a fake tree, choose a flame resistant tree.
  • Turn off all holiday lights and blow out all candles before bed and when not at home.
  • Keep all candles at least 12 inches from anything flammable.
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test these devices once per month and change the batteries every six months.

For more information, please find holiday safety videos from the Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital at the following links:

More safety information is also available on the 4-Safety Program website.