As we prepare for the holiday season, we want to make sure ourselves and our loved ones are safe, happy and healthy to be able to enjoy the holidays to the fullest extent! Awareness of the potential risks that holiday celebration might bring can help keep families out of harm’s way during potentially dangerous situation. Not to put a damper on the season of good cheer, but here are some potential risks and safety precautions so we can adequately make our holidays safer, and therefore, more joyful.
- Transporting Christmas and Yule Trees: Did you know you can be cited for not properly securing a tree to a vehicle? Did you also know that dozens of people die each year involving Christmas tree debris in the road? Trees should be transported using a proper vehicle, such as a truck, van or car with a roof rack. Ask the staff selling the trees for help in securing it and make sure it is netted before secured. If the tree is being secured to the roof, make sure the trunk is facing the front. Make sure the tree is not obstructing your sight lines or creating blind spots. Avoid highways or freeways and drive slower.
- Candles and Decorations: Every loves holiday scented candles in the winter time or the beautiful glow of a lighted Hanukah menorah. Make sure candles are placed away from any additional decorations and are out of the reach of children.
- Hanging decorations, whether it be inside or outside, is a dangerous task. If you must use a step stool or ladder for hanging decorations, make sure you have a spotter and helper, never get on a ladder alone. Plus, it is always more fun to decorate for the holidays with someone!
- Cooking Holiday Feasts: If I asked you what was the number one cause of home fires during the holidays, you would guess Christmas trees catching on fire, right? While trees inside can pose a dangerous fire hazard, cooking during the holidays is actually the biggest cause of home fires. The factors are that holiday feasts are cooked for a bigger than usual number of people and items can be forgotten and catch fire. Ask for help with cooking meals, plan ahead, and set timers.
- Drinking Alcohol: If you plan to drink alcohol during the holidays, please pace yourself, and as always, do not drink and drive! Plan to have a designated driver, or better yet, offer to be a designated driver, you’ll be the hero of the celebration!
- Toy Dangers: When shopping for kids, please pay attention to age recommendations and shocking hazard warnings listed on toy products. It is a good idea to supervise children when playing with a new toy, and promptly discard any choking hazards, such as ties or plastic bagging. Parents should use extra caution when opening new toys for their kids; the hard plastic can be cumbersome to open, and ER doctors see an increase of accidental cuts on hands from opening holiday gifts. Make sure to use fresh batteries for a new toy.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!
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Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.