It's the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are upon us and so is more family time, get togethers, spreading holiday cheer, and fun with friends and celebrations. However during this time, there are also more opportunities for unfortunate mishaps.
Tamar Levene, MD, pediatric general surgeon at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, has compiled her 12 days of tips to avoid holiday hazards and to keep you and your family safe.
1. Use age appropriate toys.
If buying a bicycle, scooter, or roller skates, don’t forget a helmet too and make sure to use it at all times.
Note: The state of Florida requires all cyclists aged 16 or younger to wear a bike helmet while riding or riding in a bicycle trailer, whether they are passengers on the sidewalk, road or other public roadway.
2. Keep small ingestible parts away from kids.
If placing or changing magnets or button batteries out of toys or household items, do so away from kids and put away extra batteries or dispose of them immediately. If swallowed, these can cause injury or death.
3. Avoid placing anything near open flames.
Never leave candles or open flames (fire pit or fireplace) unattended, especially if you have small children or pets.
4. When cooking, keep an eye on your stovetop.
Never leave the kitchen when you have food on the stove, and set alarms or alerts in the event that you get distracted.
5. Safety first when putting up holiday decorations.
Check for loose or frayed cables, wires, and connections, and replace them if you notice any of these. While putting up decorations, use a ladder instead of a piece of furniture (i.e., chair, table) and never leave the ladder out where a child can climb unsupervised.
6. Stay alert when in public.
When out doing holiday shopping, keep aware of your surroundings and never let kids wander off alone.
7. Agree on a central meeting place.
Set a meeting place if members of your group get separated while traveling or shopping.
8. Copy your ID and important documents.
Email yourself a secure copy of your identification, travel documents, and credit cards when traveling so you have these available if your documents get stolen or lost.
9. Keep digital family photos handy.
Make sure to have updated photos of your family or travel partners in case someone is lost or separated from the group.
10. Protect your valuables.
Always lock your home's gates, windows, and doors when traveling and staying in a place. Also, lock your vehicle's doors and keep your bags or valuables in the trunk as opposed to the seats when shopping.
11. Safely handle and store cleaning supplies.
Keep cleaning and household supplies out of reach of kids and make sure your hosts do the same if traveling or visiting friends or family.
12. Drive safely.
Holiday time is a big time for travel. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents following holiday parties can happen. Make sure all passengers are properly restrained in appropriately fitted and installed car seats, restraints, or seat belts every time they are in the car.
If you follow these tips, you should have a healthy and safe holiday season. We wish you all much good health and happiness!