This time of year brings with it much joy and festivity, but also a higher risk for injury. The ER sees thousands of patients over the course of the winter months for holiday-related injuries. The numbers spike during Christmas and New Year’s. Everything from cooking to hanging tree lights can be hazardous if not handled with care.
With a little extra attention paid to certain objects and activities, you can avoid any and all holiday mishaps. Let’s take a look at several ways you can enjoy a merry and bright holiday season while staying safe and healthy.
Take Care of Your Tree
Faulty lights and open flames account for 50% of Christmas tree fires each holiday season. In order to avoid a fire, make sure your tree stays well-hydrated and a safe distance from your fireplace as well as any lit candles. It’s also important to test your string lights to make sure they are all working properly. If you see any broken lights, do not use the strand on the tree as this is a major fire hazard.
Be Careful with Heat and Flame
Around 13% of home fires are caused by open candle flame during the month of December. This is in addition to fires caused by space heaters, Christmas trees, fireplaces, and most of all, cooking. Reduce your risk of injury or property damage with a home fire alarm system and keep any open flames out of reach of children and pets. It’s also imperative that you stay in the kitchen with an eye on the stove whenever it is in use.
Over 150,000 toy-related injuries are reported to the emergency room each year. While some cases are due to misuse, most of these injuries have to do with choking or swallowing small parts. It’s wonderful to give gifts to kids and teens during the holidays, but ensure that the toy is age-appropriate and that young children are supervised when playing with the new toy.
Be mindful, as well, of the age recommendations on any purchased toys. Refrain from giving toys that are designated for older children to younger kids.
Protect Your Home
Whether you are going to be at home or away during Christmas and New Year’s it is important to protect your home. The holidays are considered prime time for home invasions, but homes that are protected with a security system are less likely to be burglarized. Install a home burglary system along with solid video surveillance to keep you, your family, and your home safe during the holidays and all year long.
On average, over 700 people are seriously injured each year on Christmas and New Year’s due to car accidents. Save yourself the risk of driving by staying at home to celebrate. If you do travel on these holidays, stay safe behind the wheel by selecting a designated driver if you or anyone in your party will be drinking.
It is also best to avoid driving when the roads are icy or snowy if you can. If you must drive during hazardous conditions, prepare by storing tire chains and emergency supplies such as water, snacks, blankets, and a flashlight in case you get stuck somewhere.
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