How to Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season
The holidays can be a magical time for you and your family. Full of lights, good food, amazing company, and a sense of new beginnings. But there are some things to keep in mind to keep your families safe this holiday season and to make sure this is another magical season.
Here are some Holiday Safety Tips for Kids!
Safe Kids Worldwide shares lots of tips and tricks to keep your families safe throughout the holidays!
- Make sure your tree has plenty of water by checking it regularly. Dry trees can pose a potential fire hazard.
- Keep lit candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Don’t forget to blow them out when you leave a room or go to bed.
- Always consider a child’s age when purchasing a toy or a game.
- Keep an eye out on small pieces, including button batteries, in electronic toys. While a great gift for older children, these smaller pieces could be dangerous to curious younger children.
- Prevent burns from hot holiday foods or liquids by using the back burners of your stove and turning pot handles away from the edge.
- Move breakable ornaments or those with metal hooks toward the top of the tree. This makes room for safer ones at the bottom.
Are you traveling this holiday season?
If you choose to travel, make sure you are prepared. Be sure your vehicle is in good running condition, you get plenty of rest before you embark on your journey, and be prepared for any emergency.
According to the National Safety Council, traveling by car during the holidays has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. Follow these tips to stay safe on the roads over the holidays and every day:
- Prepare your car for winter and keep an emergency kit
- Leave early and plan for heavy traffic
- Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled properly
- Put the cell phone away and minimize distractions
- Practice defensive driving
- Designate a sober driver to ensure guests make it home after a holiday party
Do You Know How to Decorate Safely?
We all love the lights and decorations to get us into the holiday spirit, but there are thousands of injuries that occur every holiday season. Make sure you follow these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep you and your family safe:
- If using an artificial tree, make sure it is “Fire Resistant”
- Fresh is best, and less likely to be a fire hazard. Look for these attributes to check tree freshness
- A fresh tree is green
- Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches
- Fresh needles do no break when bent between your fingers
- The end of the trunk of a fresh tree is sticky with resin
- When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles indicates the tree is too dry
- Place trees away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources
- Cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood to absorb water better \
- Place tree in sturdy base with wide-spread feet
- Keep the tree stand filled with water while the tree is indoors
- Place the tree out of the way of household traffic and do not block doorways
- This can irritate the lungs if inhaled
- Make sure to follow container instructions upon using
- Use lights that have been tested for safety (both indoor and outdoor), they will have a label identifying them
- Check each strand of lights for any broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections
- Do not use any damaged set
- Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, the house, walls, or other firm support to protect from wind damage
- Use no more than three (3) standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord
- Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree
- Use colored spotlights above or beside a tree, never fastened onto it
- Keep “bubbling” lights away from children
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near one
- Always use non-flammable holders
- Keep them away from wrapping paper and other decorations
- Place them where they cannot be knocked down or blown over
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials
- Wear gloves when decorating with spun glass to avoid irritation to the skin and eyes
- Choose tinsel, artificial icicles, plastic, or non-leaded metals
- Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable
- Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of reach from children
- Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food where a child might reach
- Before lighting, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from the fireplace area
- Make sure the flue is open
- Keep a screen in front of the fireplace at all times a fire is burning
- Use care with fire salts
- Look for materials labeled non-combustible or flame-resistant
- Never place trimming near open flames or electrical connections
- Remove all wrapping paper from the tree and fireplace area immediately after presents are opened
- Do NOT burn papers in the fireplace
General Rules for Holiday Safety from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Keep matches lighters, and candles out of reach of children
- Avoid smoking near flammable decorations
- Make an Emergency Plan if a fire breaks out in the home and PRACTICE!
- Avoid wearing loose-flowing clothing near open flames
- Never burn candles near evergreen trees
- Plan for safety and use common sense
Where to go if injuries do occur?
Reach out to your healthcare provider or Brevard Health Alliance. As Brevard County’s only Federally Qualified Health Center, we are here to care for your whole family regardless of your ability to pay for service. If it is a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
According to BHA’s Dr. Arlene Sepulveda, she encourages parents to watch out to button batteries in toys and other decorations. She states, “In case of an emergency in which they ingest a button battery, it is okay to give [honey] because it will decrease the chance that the button battery erodes the esophagus,” however, it is not recommended to give raw honey to children under the age of one. “For those occasions Urgent Care is not the best option since this is a medical emergency.”
The holidays are a magical time, but it is important to remember these safety tips to ensure all are safe, healthy, and well through the holiday season.