If your holiday plans this year include inviting guests to your home, you will want to take steps to make sure that your home is safe. This is especially the case if any of your guests will be bringing their children with them. Florida laws state that property owners have a special duty of care to children that may be on their property. If any of your guests will be minors, you will want to:
1) Secure any areas that pose a drowning danger.
If you have a swimming pool on your property, prevent drowning and pool injury in your Homestead or Florida home by keeping the area locked and secure. However, keep in mind that even a decorative pond or a few inches of water that are part of holiday décor can pose a drowning hazard for small children.
2) Reduce the risks of fire hazards.
Candles are fascinating to small children. If you are decorating with candles, make sure that they are well away from small hands or any flammable materials. Never leave burning candles unattended.
3) Lock up any fireworks, firearms, hazardous materials, or poisons.
Fireworks, firearms, and other obvious dangers should be placed under lock and key where children cannot access them. However, keep in mind that even everyday items such as strong cleaners can pose a poison risk to small children. Anything that could be a poison should also be locked in a cupboard or pantry well away from children.
4) Be careful with holiday decorations.
A holiday table may look beautiful, but it can pose a big risk for small children, since toddlers can grab hold of tablecloths or cloth runners and bring hot food as well as heavy plates crashing on them. Similarly, many holiday decorations can pose a choking hazard or an injury hazard if they are made of breakable materials. Tinsel can pose an asphyxiation hazard, as can strings of lights. If you will be having guests over, make sure to do a walk-through of your home to check for any dangers. Any decorations that are not child-friendly should be placed high up, where children cannot reach.
5) Ensure good supervision for children.
Even with the best possible safety precautions, children can still find something hazardous. The best safeguard for child-aged guests is to ensure that children are supervised by adults at all times. Set up a separate game room for children or have children playing near where adults are eating or relaxing so that more than one adult can keep an eye on the children at all times.
6) Plan ahead to keep pets and children separate.
Pets often find the holidays stressful, and this stress can be compounded by a houseful of guests. In these conditions, even very well-behaved dogs, cats, and other pets can lash out and bite. To prevent dog bites in your Homestead home, keep pets comfortable in a separate room where guests are not allowed. Speak to your veterinarian about ways to reduce stress for your pet during this time of year.
Have you been injured while visiting someone’s home or business during the holiday season? You can always contact Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation case review to find out what legal options exist for you.