The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be the most dangerous. From travel to cooking to Christmas gifts, there’s plenty of potential for accidents. Fortunately, most of these accidents are preventable. Keep safety in mind this holiday season and jingle all the way through your celebrations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying home and celebrating with members of your household this winter, as this is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That being said, the agency also recognizes each American must make the decision that is best for themselves and their family members. Those who stay at home for the holidays can celebrate by cooking a delicious meal and decorating their residence to bring holiday cheer.
When decorating, however, make sure to follow these safety tips:
- Keep poisonous plants (like mistletoe, holly berries, and amaryllis) and breakable ornaments and decorations away from children and pets
- Use fire resistant artificial Christmas trees and use fire retardant on live trees
- Keep your live tree watered and remove it from your home when dry (cut off 2 inches of the trunk to encourage water absorption)
- Place your tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces and other heat sources
- Hang lights carefully, following the instructions on the package and using the right ladder for the job (only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors)
- Don’t use old light sets with loose connections frayed or bare wires
- Never nail, tack, or stress wiring when hanging lights
- Turn off all your lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave your house
Electric shock is one common cause of holiday burn injuries, so be careful and use common sense when hanging lights. If you follow instructions and get hurt anyway, consider speaking to an attorney about whether or not the product you used was defective.
Whether you choose to travel this holiday or you’re completing an essential trip to the grocery store, be extra careful behind the wheel. Keep an eye out for distracted drivers, who may be lost and trying to navigate or talking or texting on their phones, and watch out for drunk drivers, as well. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and commit to keeping your drive distraction-free. Read our blog, “How to Avoid an Auto Accident This Holiday Season” for more helpful advice.
If you choose to travel, read our Christmas Holiday Travel Tips and follow advice from the CDC, including getting your flu shot and checking travel restrictions before you go, wearing a mask whenever you are in public, staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer often.
Be Safe in the Kitchen
Holiday meals often lead to house fires, so make sure to cook with care. Never leave stovetop cooking unattended, keep children away from the kitchen and at least 3 feet away from the stove or oven, and work in tight-fitting clothing and a clutter-free environment. Make sure your smoke alarm is working properly throughout the entire holiday season.
You should also cut meats and vegetables on separate cutting boards with separate knives and wash your hands frequently to avoid cross-contamination and food poisoning.
Give the Right Gifts
Purchasing gifts for friends and family is a safe activity during the pandemic, especially if you do your shopping online and choose contact-free delivery. Nevertheless, you should always check for recalls and read reviews before buying a gift. This is particularly important if buying from an unfamiliar retailer. If you’re getting a gift for a child in your life, make sure to choose toys or games that are age-appropriate. Remember, toys are age-rated for safety, not for children’s intellect and physical ability. Do not choose toys with small parts or choking hazards for children under 3, do not choose toys that need an electrical outlet for children under 10, and always be cautious about toys that have button batteries or small or powerful magnets.
If you give a scooter or another riding toy as a gift, make sure you include a helmet and other safety gear, too!
Our Gift To You
At Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC, we give the gift of personalized legal help all year round. If something goes wrong, you can always call and put more than 70 years of combined experience on your side. We are available 24/7, even during the holidays, and offer free consultations to the injured and bereaved.
If you’ve been harmed, during the holidays or at any other time, do not hesitate to call us at (866) 675-4427 or contact us online today.