If you’ve embraced organic living, I’m guessing you’re avoiding an artificial Christmas tree in favor of one of nature’s finest specimens. But are you taking the appropriate safety steps to prevent holiday mishaps?
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips:

  •  When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin and, when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic, and do not block doorways.
  • Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
  • Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, as heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.
  • If you do opt to purchase an artificial tree, look for the “fire-resistant” label.

Editor’s note: Click here for a list of organic Christmas tree farms. You can also check with your local nursery or garden supply shop.