Health Watch -- Holiday Tip #4 - Tree Safety

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

Previously on "Healthwatch," we talked about the problem of allergies and Christmas trees. Even if allergies aren't a concern, you do need to keep safety in mind when you put up your Christmas tree.

Live Christmas trees can be a serious fire threat. Emergency room doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you can lower the risk of fire by keeping your live Christmas tree thoroughly watered. Keep the tree away from flames and heat sources like fireplaces, candles and heaters. Inspect strings of lights before you put them on the tree and make sure the wires aren't frayed or damaged.

Any Christmas tree can be dangerous if it gets knocked over - a concern if you have small children or pets in your home who might accidentally knock over a tree and be beneath it when it falls. When the tree falls, ornaments can break and cause injuries, too. Keep an eye on little ones around the tree, or put the tree where it's out of reach.


Dec. 2004

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on the "Stardust" format of ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.