Top Ten Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are a (wonderfully) hectic time even without unforeseen trips to the emergency room, doctor’s office, police station, or insurance agency.  Here are the top ten most important tips for having a safe, healthy holiday season.

  1. Keep your home “fire-safe” in a season when the number of house fires skyrockets: keep candles in open areas away from flammable items and materials, make sure to use indoor and outdoor lights only for their intended space, and don’t leave the kitchen while cooking.
  2. Keep your tree well away from the fireplace, radiator, or other source of heat, and water it regularly to prevent it from drying out; sweep up fallen needles.
  3. Take care with all those lights and other electronic decorations. Don’t overload outlets with more than three cords, ensure that plugs and cords are not near any sources of water, and turn everything off before going to bed.
  4. Berries, mistletoe, holly, and other plants are decorating go-to’s, but they pose a risk to kids and pets, who may be tempted to eat them. Keep them out of reach and explain to children that they’re poisonous; call poison control immediately if consumed.
  5. Home break-ins also escalate this time of year. Be careful to lock all doors and windows, even if you’ll only be gone a little while, and ask a neighbor to check on your house if you go out of town.
  6. Never drink and drive, and don’t allow others to do so either. Take a cab or get a ride if you have even the slightest doubt.
  7. No matter how rushed or overwhelmed you get in the kitchen, avoid spreading illness or food poisoning follow the basic food safety rules of washing your hands, produce, and tools thoroughly, especially when handling meat or poultry.
  8. When hosting a party or making treats for gifts, be aware of food allergies, especially nuts.
  9. Keep your car in good condition, and have an emergency kit with food, water, first aid items, and blankets, especially if you live in a cold environment.
  10. When shopping, store packages and bags in the trunk, out of view, and don’t overload yourself with packages while walking from store to car; keep close track of your purse and wallet.

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