It may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season of accidents, emergency room visits and property damage. Over 7500 people are treated for holiday-related accidents every year and an average of over $100 million in property damage resulting from holiday-related accidents are reported annually. If you want to avoid being listed among next year’s statistics, there are a few ways you can stay a little safer this year.
How to avoid common holiday accidents
Don’t drink and drive: Although the death toll for drunk drivers is high all year long, it can get even higher around the holidays. Over 10,000 people were killed by drunk drivers in 2012, with many of those deaths occurring during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. If you plan on drinking this holiday season, make sure you have a designated driver on hand or keep cash for a Taxi handy.
Water your tree: One of the most common causes of burns and property damage is fires caused by holiday lights. One way to reduce this risk is to keep your tree watered, if you have a live tree. Check the water routinely to keep your tree from getting overly dry. You may also want to consider spraying your tree with fire retardant or opting for a fake tree.
Unplug your lights: Do not leave your lights on when you leave home. Faulty wiring or fluke accidents are among some of the top risks for holiday lights. Keep your home safe this year and unplug your holiday lights when you’re heading out the door.
Invest in salt for your sidewalks: Make sure your driveway and walkways are safe by using salt for traction. You can avoid slip and fall injures that could lead to broken bones or concussions by simply taking time to sprinkle a little salt down when it snows.
Keep breakables away from little fingers: Keep little ones safe by using plastic or fabric ornaments on your holiday trees and storing breakables up high. If you have little children or pets in your home, avoid tiny ornaments or decorations that could be a choking hazard.
Just say no to the Poinsettia: The Poinsettia is a beautiful plant and is used in holiday decorating with good reason. But this plant can be toxic to pets. Opt for fake plants if you have pets or kids to avoid an accidental poisoning.
Avoid family politics: Everyone knows Great-Aunt Bertha can be quite the pill at the dinner table. Still, if you can, keep the banter civil when Grandma makes a snarky comment about your kids. Some police districts see as many as 35 family dispute calls on Christmas Day alone! Keep it civil and avoid fighting at the dinner table this year.
Remember your basic safety rules: The house can get really busy when friends and family head over. Remember to use common sense when cooking. Keep pans handles turned away, place gates around stairways and trees and make sure your chemicals are kept locked away from wandering kids.
Do you have any other tips to avoid common holiday accidents?