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Holiday Electrical Safety Tips for Children

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The holiday season is a special time of year filled with gatherings and decorations. Unfortunately, it is also a time when parents overlook the increased dangers their young children face. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) urges parents to keep their toddlers safe by recognizing and removing the additional shock and fire hazards that the winter months bring.

According to the US Fire Administration, young children are twice as likely to die in a home fire as the rest of the population. In addition, the number of children injured and killed by fires more than doubles during the holiday season.

Fortunately, parents can prevent these tragedies before they happen. Decorations and holiday lights can beckon a child to grab hold for a closer look -- or worse, if they end up in an infant's mouth. To prevent this, avoid putting tree lights, ornaments, and other small "mouth-size" decorations near the ground or on the lower limbs of a Christmas tree, where they can easily be reached by a child.

Another favorite target of small children are power cords. Consequently, parents should replace a worn or frayed electrical cord with one that is appropriately insulated and protected. An even better idea is to keep young children away from cords altogether, since a child can choke on as little as 12 inches of cord.

ESFI also recommends the following tips for keeping children safe this holiday season:

-- Never leave a child unsupervised while cooking or when an electric or

gas stove is within reach. Unattended cooking is one of the leading

causes of home fires during the holidays.

-- To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don't give young children

a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys

that are battery-operated.

-- Don't use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised.

Children may stick their fingers or other objects through the

protective guards, causing burns or shock.

ESFI reminds everyone that electricity is a powerful tool. It can also be a lethal hazard. Better safety standards have reduced electrical hazards that cause deaths, injuries and property damage. But good safety habits are still the best prevention against electrical hazards.

For more holiday electrical safety information, please visit ESFI at:

SOURCE Electrical Safety Foundation International
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