Learn to Celebrate Safely
The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but they can also be a time of many dangers for unwary individuals. For this reason, viewing holiday safety photos can help everyone identify and avoid potential hazards. From fire risks to food poisoning and broken glass to hypothermia, understanding the dangers of the holiday season is the first step toward celebrating in a fun, safe manner.
Christmas Lights Are an Electrical Hazard
Tangled lights can become frayed or broken, and that can cause an electrical hazard. In fact, the US Fire Administration reports that electrical problems cause one quarter of all Christmas tree fires. To protect your home, carefully inspect your lights every year before putting them on the tree.
Wrap Your Gifts Safely
Even wrapping gifts comes with a few hazards. Children can cut themselves with scissors if they aren't supervised, and according to National Public Radio, the paper itself poses some dangers. Some papers, especially, the older ones you have sitting in your holiday bins from years past, can be coated with toxic metals. If children play with or accidentally ingest pieces of paper, these toxic metals can enter the bloodstream. Additionally, burning the paper in the fireplace can release these coatings into the air of your home.
Avoid Holiday Drinking and Driving
The holidays are a time of parties and celebration, and often, these get-togethers involve alcohol. Avoid overindulging with alcohol and never drink and drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of 300 people die each year between Christmas and New Year's from crashes involving alcohol. Assign a designated driver if you'll be drinking away from home.
Hang the Stockings With Care
As the story goes, "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care." Part of that care means monitoring lit fireplaces carefully for fire hazards. According to the Red Cross, you should keep all flamable materials at least three feet away from the flames. These include decorations, wrapping paper, and of course, stockings.
Use Ladders Safely for Outdoor Lights
Install outdoor lights with appropriate safety breakers and always practice appropriate ladder safety. OSHA reports that falls from ladders are a leading safety hazard, but you can protect yourself with a few tips:
- Inspect the ladder before use.
- Make sure you place the ladder on a firm, ice-free surface.
- Have someone else spot you and hold the bottom of the ladder as you string the lights.
Don't indulge too much on sweets and other calories during the holiday season. Even though big meals are a part of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday celebrations, they aren't always good for your body. It's not just long-term weight gain you need to worry about. According to Manhattan Gastroenterology, you can even cause stress to your liver, heart, and pancreas by overindulging at the dinner table. Instead, take smaller portions and drink plenty of water.
Be Careful With Candles During Holiday Traditions
According to the National Fire Protection Association, December is the leading month for candle fires - likely due in large part to the importance of candles in religious services and traditions. Before you light the Menorah, attend a candlelight service, or put those candles on your holiday table, take a moment to review candle safety. Never leave candles unattended.
Use Care With Poinsettias
Poinsettias can be toxic to children and pets, but according to Poison Control, this plant is rarely fatal. Even though it doesn't cause serious harm, the plant can upset the stomach and cause a rash. To be on the safe side, keep poinsettias out of reach of pets and small children.
Guard Against Holiday Identity Theft
Take care to avoid identity theft when shopping online. Experian reports that 43% of identity theft that happens during the holiday season is due to online shopping. To protect your identity and credit, shop only on your home WiFi network and confirm sites are secure before you give them your information. You should also use a credit card instead of a debit card if possible.
Practice Holiday Food Safety
Store leftovers appropriately to avoid food poisoning, and use caution when enjoying holiday buffets. The FDA recommends that you wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, keep meats and other foods separate, and cook thoroughly. Practicing holiday food safety can help you enjoy the festivities.
Practice Holiday Safety Outside Too
Whether you'll be caroling, sledding, cutting a Christmas tree, or doing anything else outside, dress appropriately for winter weather. Check the forecast and dress in layers if you need extra warmth.
Inside or outside, practicing good holiday safety takes the worry out of this important time. Once you know everyone is safe, you can relax and enjoy this wonderful season with family and friends.