Safe Kids Blair County Offers Safety Tips

ALTOONA – To help ensure your children have fun and stay safe this holiday season, Sherry Turchetta, UPMC Altoona community education specialist and coordinator of Safe Kids Blair County, offers the following tips:

  • Decorate with children in mind. For the Christmas tree, move breakable ornaments or those with metal hooks to the top of the tree. Use kid-friendly ornaments on bottom branches.
  • Natural trees need to be watered regularly to prevent a potential fire hazard.
  • Check holiday lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
  • Burn holiday candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and extinguish the flame before leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Keep matches and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
  • Keep button batteries and other small pieces in games away from young children.
  • If you buy a child a bike, skateboard or scooter, include a helmet to keep them safe.
  • To help prevent stove burns from hot holiday food and liquid spills, use the back burners of the stove and turn pot handles away from the edge.
  • Teach older, responsible children how to cook safely. Teach them to never leave the kitchen while they are using the stove or oven and to use ovenmitts or potholders to remove items from the oven or stove. Teach them how to use a microwave safely.
  • Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before traveling, check the car seat. If unsure whether the seat is installed correctly, contact SafeKids Blair County at 889-7802 for assistance.
  • Use a booster with children who have outgrown a forward-facing harness seat. A booster seat enables the adult seatbelt to fit properly. If a child has graduated from a booster seat, he should remain in the back seat until the age of 13.
  • Be responsive to crying children while driving. Don’t worry about making good time. Instead, get off at the next exit and find a safe area to feed or change the child.
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