The Christmas season is a fun, festive, and joyful time of year when family and friends gather to celebrate all of their many blessings. From simple pleasures like enjoying a home-cooked meal together to more extravagant gestures and gifts, there is plenty of excitement surrounding the holidays.
While it is a wonderful time of year, the holidays can also be very busy, hectic, and crowded. Just like you and your family travel to holiday parties and celebrations, so do thousands of other individuals. Not only are the roads extra busy this time of year, but stores are more packed, neighborhoods are more crowded, and it is harder to supervise all that goes on in your home.
Keeping Your Holidays Safe & Accident-Free
From late November to mid-January, holiday safety should remain a major focus for you and your family as you entertain guests, visit loved ones, and have parties and functions to celebrate different days. By making sure to keep some simple precautions in mind, you can help keep your whole family safe this season. Check out our tips on how to avoid accidents and injuries!
1. Be Careful With Fire Starters
Fires can be one of the most devastating issues to deal with during the holidays—and unfortunately one of the most common. Between 2007 and 2011, U.S. fire departments across the national responded to an average of 230 home fires a year started by Christmas trees. These fires caused around 6 deaths a year, 22 injuries, and $18.3 million in property damage. Other causes of fires include candles and holiday lights.
2. Plan Your Trips Ahead of Time
When you are planning on traveling around the holiday season, it is important to take a few things into consideration. First, the roads will likely be much busier, so give yourself extra time to get to where you are going. It is also important to let a loved one know when you head out and when you plan to arrive in case you get into a car accident or have car trouble. In 2013, 360 people died on Thanksgiving Day in 2013, followed by 88 on Christmas and 343 on New Year’s Day. Around 31% of those were due to alcohol-impaired incidents. If you are planning to drink, make sure to have a designated driver. Also, stay more alert for drowsy, speeding, or drunk drivers during this time. Make sure your care undergoes maintenance before any long trips and that you have it weather-proofed if you are headed towards snow, ice, or sleet.
3. Make Sure Your Gifts Are Safe
Getting gifts can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday season. However, if you don’t make sure these gifts are safe, kid-friendly, and appropriate, it could lead to serious injuries. Product defects can often result in tragic injuries and medical complications. Check out on the gift you are considering getting for a loved one. Read reviews, make sure there isn’t any pending legal action, and err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure if it is age appropriate or a safe gift choice.
4. Keep Decorations Safe & Compliant
From setting up holiday lights outside the house to sprucing up your home interior with festive designs, it is important to make sure all your holiday décor is safety compliant. Even the process of putting up lights can be dangerous and led to injuries, so make sure you take the proper safety measures. Injuries can be very common when decorating during the holidays. An estimated 15,000 injuries occurred due to holiday decorating between November and December of 2012. That is around and average of 250 injuries a day during the holiday season!
5. Take Extra Caution With Food Prep
The holiday season is notorious for involving scrumptious pies, sugary cookies, savory turkeys, and other dishes. With all the hustle and bustle of getting the home looking perfect and preparing a delicious meal, focus on safe food prep safety can fall by the wayside. Make sure to keep this a priority! Using a thermometer to ensure meat is cooked and refrigerating food within two hours can prevent food poisoning. Using safe products to cook dishes is also essential—defectively designed cookware or appliances can lead to serious injuries. Keep an eye on things when they are in the oven or on the stove to ensure no fires break out.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!