Christmas Safety 101
The holiday season is upon us, and nobody gets as excited about the festivities as the kids. In the midst of all the fun, you want to ensure that your little ones are protected. From the numerous parties to the activities at the mall and the culmination at Christmas, enough emphasis on holiday safety tips cannot be made.
With the rush of shopping and decorating, it is quite easy to overlook the children in the frenzy. Before anything else, we need to take note that a lot of injuries, falls, cuts and children kidnapping takes place over the holidays. Need I remind you the movie Home Alone?
There are various ways that the kids can get hurt over the holidays, and we are going to explore but a couple of ways to be safe. With hands-on tips, the only thing you will have to worry about this holidays is whether you’re Christmas decorations are sufficient or not.
Home Christmas Safety Tips
What is Christmas without the conventional tree, the mistletoe, the decorations and the bubble glass? Herein, however, lies so much risk that to fully be safe, you would need to practice extra caution when decorating.
On a study done by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 1700 injuries reported in over 100 hospitals were Christmas related. Of the 1700, 500 were related to decorations, falling while decorating, electrical failure, choking and fire.
- The most basic rule would be to turn off any lights that are not in use- especially so if you are planning to be out of the house for a long period of time.
- Ensure Christmas trees are placed away from the fireplace, candles and any sources of sparks. It is especially important to water natural trees because when dry, these can be the biggest fire starters.
- Ensure the Christmas tree has been placed on stable ground. A falling tree is at risk of hurting toddlers or tripping over electrical wires.
- When buying artificial trees, ensure they are labeled fire resistant.
- When setting up decorations, use a step ladder even if the tree is slightly above your height.
- It is also advisable that children are discouraged from playing with the Christmas trees to avoid the danger of the trees falling for them.
In case of a home fire, measures like using a fire extinguisher can stop its spread. Raise the alarm- scream out loud if need be. If the fire is not contained, evacuate the house using the nearest possible exit- and resist the urge to go back for your valuables. Drop to the ground where there is a cleaner air and roll on the ground to safety. After crawling out of a room, close the door behind you as it will slow down the spread of the fire.
If your clothes catch fire- stop, drop and roll. Don’t run as you will increase the risk of inhaling carbon monoxide. Should you be notified that there is a fire and you are absent, call 911 and seek immediate evacuation of whoever may be in the house.
The gift of stomach-upset-free holidays
Holidays for many of us are synonymous with food. Our moms and grandmothers take exceptional care, spending hours over the stove and cooking turkeys to perfection. The whole cooking process, right from defrosting to leftovers, is a process synonymous with all kinds of fertile ground for bacteria growth.
- Remember to wash hands before handling any kind of food.
- All leftovers remain viable up to the morning of the fourth day. Any day longer and you’ll have listeria-infested stew.
- Reheat your left-overs at 165°F.
- Turkey fryers are a leading cause of electrical and contact burns. Take especially care to turn off the fryer when not in use and to keep it off the edges of surfaces.
- Any utensils that touch raw meat should be washed and rinsed thoroughly.
- Small holiday treats like popcorn or peanuts are choking hazards, kids should have treats under supervision. Any sign of choking should be handled by first aid and a doctor consulted immediately.
Safety When Driving
The holiday season falls in the winter, which makes it a time to be extremely cautious especially if you are using the roads. Safety when driving during the holidays is important, here are some tips:
<>Check the weather before you leave the house. Instances of black ice on the road should be noted. It is recommended that you get winter wheels for your car ahead of the holidays.
- If you are planning on driving, ensure you are fully rested beforehand.
- If you happen to hit black ice, don’t brake as you are likely to skid. Instead, proceed carefully and drive slowly- it’s pretty much harmless.
- If you happen to get involved in an accident because of the fog, call 911 immediately. Check for injuries, and don’t move anyone unless they are under the immediate threat of more danger. Don’t drive away!
- Mind your speed! Save lives!
Safety tips for kids over the holiday
With homes filled by guests and a lot of parties, children tend to spend most of their time in the entertainment room because of the fact that they are largely forgotten during the festivities.
A couple of tips to have you winning during this “Oops! I forgot to check my child” season:
- Small gifts that can be swallowed or chocked on should be avoided. In line with this, avoid lithium batteries like button batteries as they pose a greater risk of poisoning if ingested.
- Alcohol poisoning is as great a risk in children as it is adults. There is usually plenty of food, drinks, and good cheer going around- hence moderation rarely gets taken seriously during the festivities. Kids, likely to imitate their parents, will drink off of empty cups or accessible bottles of liquor. Ensure all empty alcohol cups are emptied and no alcohol is within their reach.
- Food poisoning is an even greater risk in children than adults given their developing gut. Always warm their food and use clean ingredients.
- Snow sprays are extremely harmful to children even if indicated otherwise. Take note to always keep them away from children.
- Angel hair- the decorative strands made of finely spun glass and polyester- can get quite dangerous, and it’s recommended keep it away from the reach of small children.
- When travelling, ensure all kids have been checked out of the house and the alarms enabled.
- All kids should be buckled up when driving. Avoid the urge to sit with a toddler at the front seat.
If you would like to have access to a complete Christmas Safety Guide please take a look to this resource: KidGuard Parent’s Holiday Guide 2018