At this time of year, many children are home from school more often and many families are planning for the holidays. The hectic schedule, increased presence of children and holiday trimmings can lead to plenty of personal injuries, experts claim. Among the biggest dangers:
1) Accidental poisonings. Holiday decorations can include poinsettias, mistletoe, and oils and products meant to smell like cranberries or gingerbread. These new items can prove to be very tempting for young children, especially when these products are scented. Pets can also be in danger of ingesting these potentially harmful products. Where possible, keep such items well out of reach and supervise children and pets closely.
2) Burn injuries. When families are busy and candles are left burning to bring holiday cheer to a home, fires can accidentally start. Children may also get to close to the flame. Additionally, fireplaces are often lit at this time of year, creating additional risks. Additional electrical use – in the form of outdoor decorations and indoor lights – can also pose fire hazards. Keeping candles and fireplaces monitored at all times can help prevent many fires and burn injuries. Checking the state of electrical wires and avoiding excessive electrical products in one outlet can help prevent electricity fires.
3) Accidental cuts and bruises. Broken holiday ornaments, sharp edges on toys and on decorations can cause cuts and other injuries. In households with children, it is a good idea to keep decorations high, away from children.
4) Injuries caused by defective products. Not all toys and products sold during the holiday season are safe to use. At this time of year, when most of us get several new items in our home, it is a good idea to remain alert to product recalls and to remove recalled products from the home at once.
5) Slip and fall injuries. Indoors, food preparation and some decorative items can cause spills. If these are not cleaned up right away, they can lead to slips and injuries. As guests visit our homes, it is also important to keep the driveways and walk-ways well-lit and clear of snow, water and ice.