and aways finish your drink to avoid a youngster having a taste and ending up with alcohol poisoning, and, of course, never hang baubles on the tree, they might break and give someone a nasty cut, these 'tips', from a list of gratuitous health and safety advice issued yesterday, came not from a misguided town hall jobsworth, but with the authority of Children's Secretary Ed Balls.
Mr Balls's officials have printed 150,000 leaflets designed to look like advent calendars, to be distributed through shopping malls and children's centres 'to help make the festive season safe', they alert families to the dangers of tinsel, a thousand people each year, the leaflets declare, are 'hurt by trimmings or when decorating their homes'.
Another 1,000 people a year have to go to hospital after accidents with Christmas trees, according to the publication. Among the risks families are told to bear in mind are tipsy guests 'crashing to the floor when they miss their seat at the dinner table'. The advice leaflet, titled 'Tis the Season to be Careful, ran into trouble with critics who pointed out that Mr Balls's department is in charge of the 'safeguarding children' system that failed to prevent the death of Baby P.
Tory junior Children's spokesman Tim Loughton said: 'This is yet more evidence that the DCSF really stands for the Department that Can't Stop Fiddling.
'It is ironic that a Government Department which has become accident prone for messing up test results, pouring millions into databases that don't work and failing to protect our most vulnerable children is now spending thousands on producing leaflets to state the blindingly obvious.'
Any further comment by me would be totally superfluous.