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Candle Safety & Babies

by Kathy Gleason

If you use candles to decorate your home, keep some safety issues in mind, especially with a baby around. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, young children and the elderly are most at risk from dying because of fires started by candles. Parents with babies need to use extreme caution with candles.

Burns

Burns are one of the most common dangers of candles, and they can happen in several ways. If you keep burning candles on a low table, your baby could pull himself up and reach the candle, either burning himself directly on the flame or spilling melted wax on himself. The other big risk is that your baby could start a fire.

Choking

If your baby is crawling or walking and can reach your candles, choking is another hazard. If the candle is partly used and small pieces of wax are in the candle or along the base, your baby could pick at the candle and dislodge a piece, causing a risk for choking, according to California Poison Control System.

Inhalation

According to Pregnancy.org, burning candles can cause some health issues. Inhaling the fumes from scented candles can cause nausea or upper respiratory irritation. The scents or the melted wax itself can be irritating, and in some candles.

Cuts and Bruises

Use extreme caution with candles in glass jars around your baby because she could get hold of it and drop it on her foot, causing injury, or break the glass and cut herself. Some decorative candles also have sharp pieces that could cut your baby if she is allowed to play with the candle without supervision.

Candle Safety

Never leave your baby in a room with a burning candle without supervision. Even if you're sitting right there, don't keep a burning candle on a low table or shelf because accidents can happen quickly. Read the labels on candles and avoid candles that contain lead. Keep all candles, burning or not, far from your baby's reach. The U.S. Fire administration suggests using battery-operated candles, rather than candles with flames, for decoration. You should also never burn candles in a bedroom. Also, place candles in sturdy holders that cannot be knocked over easily, and place them out of reach of your baby.

About the Author

Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.

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