-- Robert Preidt
SUNDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of burns increases
over the holiday season because people are cooking more, putting up
potentially flammable decorations and using fireplaces and
"We see a significant increase in burn patients between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Your holiday, which should be full of joy and celebration, can quickly turn tragic," Dr. Jeff Guy, director of Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center in Nashville, Tenn., said in a Vanderbilt University news release.
Many of these injuries are easily preventable if people are
cautious and eliminate potential dangers that could lead to
Guy outlined a number of ways to prevent burns and have a safe
Staying in the kitchen and being attentive while cooking can
prevent most cooking fires. Keep pot holders, wooden utensils,
towels, food packaging and anything else that can catch fire away
from the stovetop.
Use turkey fryers outdoors and keep them a safe distance from
the building. Never overfill a fryer with oil and never leave it
When you buy an artificial Christmas tree, select one with a
"fire resistant" label. When buying a real tree, check for
freshness. It should be green, the needles should be hard to pull,
the trunk should be sticky with resin and the tree shouldn't lose
many needles when it's hit.
Keep fresh trees away from fireplaces and radiators and keep the
tree stand filled with water. A well-watered tree is usually safe
but it can take just a few seconds for a dry tree to be ablaze, Guy
Check new and old sets of Christmas lights for broken or cracked
sockets, frayed wires or loose connections, and discard damaged
sets. Don't overload extension cords and never use electric lights
on a metallic tree.
Don't burn wrapping paper in the fireplace, because it can
ignite suddenly and burn intensely. Place candles away from trees
and other decorations and in locations where they can't be knocked
over. Never leave candles unattended.
Health Canada offers
holiday safety tips.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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