Each year, over 12,500 Americans are rushed to the emergency room due to holiday related accidental injuries, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. With caution and due diligence, these accidents can be avoided.
Follow these holiday tips to keep yourself and loved ones safe:
1. Food Hazards– Keep raw food away from prepared dishes and wash hands in-between tasks to avoid cross contamination. Food that is left out too long increases the chance of bacteria forming; ensure that food is refrigerated within 2 hours.
2. Pet Hazards– Many common holiday ingredients, including raisins, grapes, coffee grinds, and chicken or turkey bones can be harmful or toxic to your pet’s health. Chocolate poses the highest risk to pets, causing seizures or even death.
3. Snow Shoveling– Keep walkways clear of snow and ice to prevent slips and falls. Make sure to use proper shoveling technique to avoid injury.
4. Ladder Danger– Each year over 500,000 people are injured from falling off of ladders. Make sure you do not overreach and ascend the ladder with your hands full. Also, avoid hanging lights alone.
5. Toppling Trees– Ensure holiday trees are placed in low traffic areas and placed on a sturdy stand, rated for its size, to avoid tipping. Avoid using candy or popcorn as garland as they lure children to tug on the tree.
6. Lights– Always inspect and plug in your lights before you hang them. Check for frayed wires, broken bulbs and loose connections to avoid fire and electrocution. Use fewer power cords to avoid overheating.
7. Wrap Rage– A large percentage of holiday injuries is the result of attempts to open difficult product packaging. Check for easy-open slit, perforation, or pull tabs first. If you need to use scissors, cut with the blades facing away from your body and hands. Once open, dispose of the package as the edges are usually rigid and sharp.
8. Fire Hazards- Keep your tree away from heat sources as they can expedite the drying process. Do not toss wrapping paper into the fireplace as this can cause a flash fire. Never leave a heat source on when you are not at home or sleeping.
We hope these tips will ensure a safe and happy holiday for all.