Christmas carols encourage us “deck the halls with boughs of holly,” walk in a winter wonderland and roast chestnuts by an open fire. And, in fact, hanging ornaments, stringing lights and cooking holiday dinners create life-long memories.
But for many people, the holidays will be anything but merry and bright. Some 15,000 people will be seriously injured and visit the emergency room during the holiday season.
The National Safety Council offers these suggestions to reduce or eliminate holiday-related injuries this year:
- Never use lighted candles near trees or boughs.
- Use a ladder or step stool to decorate high places.
- Keep poisonous plants such as poinsettias out of reach of animals and children.
- Check holiday lights for fraying, bare spots, gaps in insulation or excessive kinking in the wire.
- Turn off all tree lights and decorations when not in use.
- When cooking, wash hands, sink, utensils and anything else that touches raw meat
- Immediately refrigerate leftovers, and reheat food to at least 165 degrees.
- If you are hosting a party and serving alcohol, make sure everyone has a safe ride home. Impairment begins with the first drink.
- Avoid giving children gifts with small parts or button batteries, which are easily swallowed and can be fatal.