This season brings more hazards and more distraction. Here’s how to combat dangers and safeguard holiday safety.
Holiday safety is an issue that is very important from late November to mid-January, when families gather, parties are scheduled and travel is on the rise. It is a great time to remind ourselves of some important tips to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe:
Inside of the home:
- If you haven’t put up the tree yet, decorate with your kids in mind. Kids are curious and will want to play with the ornaments on the tree, so you might as well prepare. Move the ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top of the tree. That makes room at the bottom for the ones that are safer for young kids.
- Water the tree regularly. Natural trees look beautiful and smell great, but if they’re not watered regularly, needles can dry out and pose a potential fire hazard. Make sure your tree has plenty of water by checking it regularly. Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes or with any potentially flammable item. Turn off decorative lights before leaving home or going to sleep. Regularly check lights for exposed or frayed wires and loose connections.
- Check smoke alarms. Make sure there is a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and near sleeping areas. Review your fire escape plan with family members and guests.
- Prevent spills with pot handles. Kids love to reach, so to prevent burns from hot holiday food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the edge. Click here for more information on cooking safety.
Outside the home:
- Stay safe on the roads over the holidays. Be prepared for emergency situations on the road by having a winter “survival kit” in the vehicle including items such as, a working flashlight, extra batteries, reflective triangles, compass, first aid kit, exterior windshield cleaner, ice scraper, snow brush, wooden stick matches in a waterproof container, and non-perishable, high energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy. Click here for more tips on safe travel with your family.
- Watch out for distracted drivers and pedestrians. Shopping center parking lots are busier during the holidays. Keep an eye out for distracted pedestrians and drivers who may not be paying attention to you, especially when backing out of parking spaces.
- Make sure every passenger has a seat belt, car seat or booster seat. Remember to buckle up every ride, every time, whether it’s the long trip to visit family or around the block to the mall. Check your car seat before holiday travel. Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so check it before you hit the road. Click here for car seat fitting stations near you!
Children are curious by nature, especially around the holidays. Many medications look and taste like candy. While it’s important to encourage our kids to explore and discover new things, when it comes to medication, we want to be careful to keep them safe. Here are a few tips to show you how:
- Put all medicines up and away and out of sight including your own. Make sure that all medicines and vitamins are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. In most emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a parent or grandparent.
- Consider places where kids get into medicine. Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. Be savvy with how you store your medication!
- Consider products you might not think about as medicines. Most parents store medicine up and away – or at least the products they consider to be medicine. They may not think about products such as diaper rash remedies, vitamins or eye drops as medicine, but they actually are and need to be stored safely.
- Put the toll-free, Poison Help Number into your home and cell phone: 1-800-222-1222. You can also put the number on your refrigerator or another place in your home where the babysitters and caregivers can see it.
The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and wonderful food. Incorporating the safety tips listed above into all of your holiday preparations will help you and your family stay safe and injury-free. Happy Holidays to you and your family!