'Toys, turkeys and trinkets, oh my:' Tips for avoiding holiday pitfalls

The holidays are upon us, which means it’s the season for gathering with your loved ones for dinner and exchanging gifts.

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In the spirit of the season, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has put together some tips to help make sure your holidays are nice, rather than naughty.


Toys may delight your child, but they may also present unexpected dangers.

According to the CPSC, non-motorized scooters constitute 21% of all toy-related trips to the emergency room, and the number of scooter injuries jumped 17% in 2021.

Parents should also be mindful of toys that present choking hazards. Be especially careful with small parts from toys, balloons or rubber balls, for example.

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To help keep your child clear of danger, make sure you adhere to safety instructions from the manufacturer. In addition, pick up any safety gear recommended for a particular toy – such as helmets – and make sure your child is using it.

Finally, keep small items like rubber balls of toy components away from children 3-years-old or younger, and keep deflated balloons away from children under 8.

Read more about toy-related dangers during the holidays.


The Thanksgiving meal is one of the highlights of the holiday season, but cooking-related accidents are the number one cause of house fires. Each year, the CPSC says, fire accounts for 2,400 deaths and 10,400 injuries nationwide.

The number of cooking-related fires skyrockets on Thanksgiving Day to 1,700 – triple the average number of fires on any other day.

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Turkey fryers are among the biggest contributors to cooking-related injuries – causing some 222 fires or burn injuries since 1998.

A couple of handy tips for avoiding cooking mishaps include never leaving food unattended while it’s on the stove or in the oven; and only frying turkeys outside away from the home.


Decorations may seem relatively innocuous, but the CPSC says they account for 160 injuries each day during the holiday season. Almost half of those injuries come from falls.

In addition, dry Christmas trees and unattended candles can be a source for accidental fires. The CPSC says there were roughly 100 fires related to Christmas trees from 2016 to 2018. During the same time period, candles reportedly led to 1,100 fires in November and December.

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To maintain safety while decorating, make sure your Christmas Tree has plenty of water, and check to see if it’s "fire resistant" when you buy it.

Also, make sure candles are in plain sight, and away from flammable items.

You can find out more about safety during the season on the CPSC’s Holiday Safety Information Center.