The holidays are a time for joy, but we all need to have a safe holiday as well. Keeping our families safe is just as important as the joy and fun of the holidays. The last thing any of us need during this time of year is stress from an injured loved one or the hospital bill after a swift trip for stitches. Read on to learn 5 ways to keep your holiday safe.
1. Take Care with Toys
Toys accounted for 150,000 Emergency-Room treated injuries in 2020. What’s the solution? Trash all toys? Not so! Go instead for age-appropriate toys that can be enjoyed safely. Be sure to use the product as intended, teach children safe ways to use their new gear, and be consistent in removing items that they attempt to use in unsafe ways.
It can be tempting to let safety slide during the holidays thinking, “It’s a special day, I don’t want to be a downer, worrying about my kid wearing a helmet.” However, it will actually be easier to teach safety from the start, as children (like us adults) struggle to learn new rules after the fact.
Plus, with 21% of toy-related injuries coming from non-motorized scooters ALONE, when you choose safety, you’re making the holiday MORE fun. No one wants to spend Christmas in the ER!
2. Be Wise with Holiday Baking
Is there anything that brings holiday cheer faster than your favorite holiday treat? Is there anything more Thanksgiving than Turkey? Each holiday, no matter the culture or family, has many cooking and gathering opportunities. Unfortunately, cooking fires remain the #1 cause of residential fires. So how to do it safely?
Set a couple of timers and be sure to check in on cooking food frequently. Involving family in the process can make this fun for everyone, especially if you have a designated “Fire Marshall” helping to keep an eye on the fire. Or use a virtual personal assistant. Everyone loves saying “Alexa set a timer” She just might save you from burning the pie this year.
Turkey fryers are especially dangerous. Never use a turkey fryer inside and always set it up in a location clear of flammable materials, away from your home, and free from dangling branches or vines. Wear protective equipment that covers the skin and can withstand hot oil.
3. Invest in Decorating without Injuries
When you go to buy decorating equipment, you may think to save money by skipping the safety gear (think gloves, roof tie-on systems, proper ladders, etc). Holiday cash can get tight, and no one SEES the safety investment. They will see the lack of safety investment when something goes wrong though. Every single day of the holidays there are 160 decorating injuries. Half of these involve a fall and almost all of them are completely preventable with proper precautions.
If decorating safely is a particular concern for you due to age, physical health, or time limitations, consider hiring out or going without. Companies like ours offer Christmas light installation on the roof eaves for affordable rates and you can be sure we take safety seriously, with professional-grade C7 LED Christmas lights, outdoor-rated extension cords, and automatic timer options that ensure Christmas lights are installed and never thought of again. We even return to take care of any problems and put them away for you!
4. Water the Tree
Live pine trees are beautiful, fragrant, and an important part of many families’ holiday celebrations. They are also responsible for 50 fires every November and December. Be sure you are purchasing trees that have been safely harvested to preserve moisture, and then keep the tree watered throughout the holiday season. You’ll also want to keep a fire extinguisher nearby your tree and any cooking area. Never leave a live tree plugged in unattended.
Every holiday season, over 500 candles start fires and combined with Christmas tree fires result in 20 million dollars of damage. Candles are a beautiful and often symbolic part of the holidays. Like other sources of fire, be sure they are attended to and can be put out quickly.
5. Buyer Beware
It’s age-old advice that this holiday season will be particularly relevant. With expected shipping delays, shopping shortages, and record-high inflation, many of us will be tempted to find items in less-than-ideal places. While buying from a trench-coat-wearing bloke in an alley would make most of us wary, too often we forget that online purchases come with risks as well. Beware of offers that seem “too-good” especially if other reputable stores are consistent in their prices and terms. Buy from stores that you trust, and buy early. If possible, use a program like Paypal when buying from a site you have never used in the past.
Have a happy, safe, holiday season!