Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season
Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest from late November to mid January, when families gather, parties are scheduled, and travel spikes. Take some basic precautions to ensure your family remains safe and injury free throughout the season.
- “Angel hair,” made from spun glass, can irritate your eyes and skin; always wear gloves or substitute non-flammable cotton
- Spraying artificial snow can irritate your lungs if inhaled; follow directions carefully
- Decorate the tree with your kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top
- Always use the proper step ladder; don’t stand on chairs or other furniture
- Lights are among the best parts of holiday decorating; make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires, loose connections, or broken sockets
- Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous (including some Poinsettias) out of reach of children or pets
- Make sure paths are clear so no one trips on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.
FLAMES, FOOD, AND TRAVEL…
Watch Out for those Fire-starters – candles and fireplaces – Thousands of deaths are caused by fires, burns, and other fire-related injuries every year, and 12% of home candle fires occur in December. Increased use of candles and fireplaces means more risk for fire.
- Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle
- Keep candles out of reach of children
- Make sure candles are on stable surfaces
- Don’t burn candles near trees, curtains, or any other flammable items
- Don’t burn trees, wreaths, or wrapping paper in the fireplace
- Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some holiday food safety tips. Here are a few:
- Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
- Refrigerate food within two hours
- Holiday meal leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
- Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
- When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
- Wash your hands frequently when handling food
Many people choose to travel during the holidays by automobile, with the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation.
- Use a designated driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol and over-the-counter or illegal drugs all cause impairment
- Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance being traveled
- Put that cell phone away; distracted driving causes one-quarter of all crashes
- Properly maintain the vehicle and keep an emergency kit with you
- Be prepared for heavy traffic, and possibly heavy snow
We wish you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.