The holiday season is upon us once again. As your friends and neighbors pull out their Christmas lights, host holiday parties, and deck the halls, the chances for injury – whether through premises liability or auto accidents – increases. Here are some tips to keep your family safe and healthy all season long:
1. Be a Defensive Driver (and Pedestrian)
The beginning of the holiday season means there will be more people out and about completing their holiday shopping. Retail centers are busier, so be wary of drivers or pedestrians who may be distracted. The risk is particularly high when backing out of parking spaces, so use extra caution.
This is also a good time to check your own propensity for distracted driving. Keep your phone out of reach, and encourage your teenage drivers to do the same. No text is worth risking your life or well-being.
2. Practice Safe Decorating
Soon, you’ll be picking out a Christmas tree, stringing lights, and hanging Christmas decorations. If you have young children, make sure your ornaments are larger than the diameter of a paper towel tube – this ensures they’re too big to present a choking hazard. Move breakable ornaments or those with metal hooks to the top of the tree, out of reach.
Natural trees are beautiful and fill your home with cheer. If you don’t water them regularly, however, they can present a fire hazard. Keep your tree away from your fireplace and candles and check the water level regularly.
This also applies to your Christmas lights, which can cause electrical fires if there are loose connections or frayed and exposed wiring. Check all your lights before hanging on a tree or outside. When hanging your lights outside, use extra caution and consider a safety harness.
3. Shop Wisely
Toy manufacturers operate a full court press when it comes to advertising this time of year. Though your three-year-old might want the latest tech gadget or toy, take some time to read the fine print before purchasing. Manufacturer recommended ages are there for a reason. Toys for children 3 years and above, for example, often contain small parts that can present a choking hazard. Only purchase toys that are within your children’s age range. Button batteries, in particular, can present a serious danger to young children, so avoid toys that use them.
4. Prevent Burns
Lastly, the holiday season brings more meal preparation and cooking up tasty treats. It can be fun to get your children involved in family traditions, but now is a good time to review your kitchen safety. Exercise caution by using the following tips:
- Put your pots and pans on the back burner with the handle facing back to remove temptation from reaching toddlers.
- Never put food on your oven door, as tipping these appliances over is easier than you might think. Free up some counter space instead.
- Teach your kids about safe microwave use, including what’s suitable for microwaving and what’s not.
Use these tips to reduce your family’s risk of injury. Have a safe and fun holiday season!