Saturday, March 16, 2013

Winter holiday safety tips

The winter holidays are a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire and accidents.

Below are some safety checklists for dealing with the holiday season.
Some of these may seem like common sense but there might be a few tidbits in here that you haven’t thought about.

For instance…button batteries. They are everywhere nowadays in all sorts of small electronics ( and musical cards), These can be quite hazardous if swallowed. Take time in advance to do a mental inventory of items that you have around that may be powered by these.
We have had to X-ray a patient not too long ago, because there was the possibility that a button battery was missing. (They had indeed swallowed it)

Certain Holiday plants like poinsettias are toxic ( especially to someone with a latex allergy). You may not have them in your own house, but if you are  visiting a friend or even a supermarket make sure little hands don’t grab the pretty red leaves and put them in their mouths

Be very careful transporting hot food to a holiday pot luck. I have patients who have been burned from hot food spilling on them in a car.

Since Chanukah comes first this year
*Make sure that all candles are safely out of harms way
*Make sure candles are not close to wrapping paper
*Don’t go to sleep with candles still burning
*Don’t leave the matches or lighters hanging around
*If you are frying Latkes make sure that no one gets spattered by oil

Christmas tree checklist
*When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is less of a fire hazard
*Cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk immediately before placing the tree in the stand and filling with water to ensure absorption
*check the water level daily to avoid the tree drying out
*When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant”
*Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted
*Place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators and space heaters
*Make sure the tree is steady enough that it can’t be pulled over by a toddler
*Trim your tree with non-combustible or flame resistant materials
*Before using lights outdoors, check labels to make sure they have been certified for outdoor use
*Make sure all bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections
*Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground-fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
*String of lights and garlands are a staple of holiday decorating, but they can also pose a strangulation hazard.
*Avoid trimming the tree with things that look like candy which may pose a temptation to the kids.
*Keep sharp, glass or breakable ornaments out of reach of small children
*Holly berries and other small decorations can be choking hazards
*Don’t overload extension cords

This is a great time to test your smoke alarms!!!

Stay safe and Have Happy Holidays!

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