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Article updated: 3/29/2013 9:56 AM

Illinois fire marshal suggests child safety strategies

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal is suggesting ways for families to keep children safe this spring.

The fire marshal issued a set of tips Thursday that officials hope will prevent serious incidents as families prepare to spend more time outdoors.

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State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says parents should remove drawstrings and other cords from their children's clothing that could get trapped in equipment around playgrounds.

He also encourages parents to check playground equipment such as swings and monkey bars to ensure they're not broken.

Matkaitis suggests parents keep house plants out of children's reach even if they are not poisonous. He says plants pose a choking risk for children.

Other tips are available at the fire marshal's website.

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