We do more cooking on winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other holiday. Along with the hustling and bustling in the kitchen come common holiday dangers. Everyone in the family, kids and adults alike, are susceptible to holiday hazards, and they aren’t just limited to kitchen-related injuries. Any corner of the room can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions.
Light up (not literally) your holiday season blues with these safety tips:
Feasting and Fitness
Prepare your stomach, cholesterol levels and sleeping patterns this holiday season. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of enjoying grandma’s potato salad and Auntie’s golden brown turkey. However, ease up on stuffing yourself with stuffing.
It is so enticing to just lounge around and knock out after a hearty Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve meal. Resist that temptation and give some time for your stomach to settle. Recover the day after and overcome the bloated, “food baby” stage. Some people opt to work out every other day, or at least once a week, to get rid of all the holiday calories consumed. Make a routine out of it – give and take.
A high influx of relatives also means bunches of hugs, handshaking and kisses. These are perfect opportunities for germs to travel from one body to another and later on develop into illnesses such as colds and flu.
The cold WILL bother you in some way, soon enough. Compromising comfort and warmth just to look good outdoors isn’t worth it. There’s no point in trying to channel your inner Queen Elsa from Frozen.
Flaming Home Matters
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) backs up claims that the most common holiday fires occur on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year. Thanksgiving tops the list for cooking related disasters.
Before you excitedly pay for your tree, whether it’s artificial or real, check to see that it has a safety accreditation. Also, make sure that it’s the right size for your home. Choose one too big and it has the possibility of falling over someone. Objects that touch the ceiling are already considered a fire hazard, so pick one that’s not too tall either.
A burning tree is one of the last things you want to encounter on Christmas morning. Avoid overloading your electrical outlets. NFPA also reveals that candles caused 38% of home decoration fires so place them on non-flammable surfaces and don’t keep them burning for a long time. Ensure that your smoke alarms function well before having guests over. Never go to bed with major decorations and candles still left on.
Keep breakable items and small ornaments out of reach, especially from toddlers and kids since these also pose as choking hazards.
Fireplaces are rarely ever used, and if they are, it’s usually for aesthetic purposes than for warmth and heating. If you do plan on lighting up your fireplace a few times when the family is over, use a fireplace screen to protect bystanders from sparks.
Adjust your indoor heating temperatures so your body doesn’t go into shock with the sudden changes in the atmosphere.
Vehicle accidents are a result of slippery roads, poor visibility and nervous drivers. If you don’t feel comfortable driving in semi-harsh weather conditions, don’t push it. However, if you want to brave the snowy, slippery roads, make sure you know basic safety procedures when it comes to car and garage maintenance during winter. Familiarize yourself with how to remove and attach snow chains on your own. The golden rule of no drinking while driving still applies.
When shoveling snow in your driveway, bundle up well to avoid frostbites and hypothermia. Enclose your fingers and toes in warm socks and gloves.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, because of holiday-related accidental injuries, over 12,500 individuals spend more time in hospitals and emergency rooms than in the company of family. We all want to make Christmas season jollier and brighter for everyone, but we often forget about safety.
The only things that should be twinkling and ablaze during the winter season are our eyes and our hearts.