Health Watch — Holiday Havoc: Fire Dangers

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.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the havoc of the holiday season. On a cold winter’s night, the glow of candlelight or a roaring fire in the fireplace adds a welcome glow to a home, but that can be dangerous when combined with the chaos of children and pets and with some holiday decor.

Dr. Gary Purdue, a burn surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says one brush of clothing across a burning candle can lead to serious burns. He recommends not using candles at all. If you do use them, supervise children and pets around them and keep them out of reach in places where people aren’t likely to accidentally brush against them. Keep live Christmas trees away from candles, fireplaces and other sources of heat, and keep them well watered so they’re less of a fire hazard. Use a fireplace screen to make sure children don’t get into a fire.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/surgery to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in surgery.

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December 2008

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