The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for many families. However, they can also be very dangerous. In fact, emergency rooms see an increase in visits over the holidays due to festivity-related mishaps. Calls to the poison centre increase, and there is even a rise in allergy symptoms over the holidays as well.
Despite the statistics, you can take steps to prevent many holiday mishaps this year. Use the following tips and information to help ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday season.
1. Carefully Supervise Holiday Craft Time
One of the most common mishaps around the holidays deals with children ingesting paints, markers, or other craft supplies. Some craft supplies can be toxic if ingested, so it is a good idea to keep a close eye on children who are doing holiday craft activities. Be sure to use age-appropriate supplies, including non-lead paint. Avoid serving snacks during craft time to cut down on accidental ingestion.
You should also store craft supplies in a safe location throughout the year. Children and adults should wash their hands thoroughly after craft time is over.
2. Be Wary of Wrapping Paper and Bows
Wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon are generally not toxic if ingested. However, they can certainly be a choking hazard for small children. Some wrapping papers may also have metal components, which can make them dangerous if they are burned.
Many areas have bylaws against burning garbage in fireplaces or woodstoves, and for good reason! Some wrapping paper or decorative substances may have a mixture of cancer-causing compounds that will be released if burned. As such, you should avoid throwing wrapping paper or other packaging in the fireplace.
3. Be Prepared for an Emergency
While you should be prepared for emergency situations throughout the year, it is especially important over the holidays. Holiday cooking and lighting increase the risk of home fires. Injuries related to outdoor activities or play time may also be more frequent.
To deal with these hazards, you should be sure that your home is ready—check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit and know how to use them if you need to do so. If you live in an apartment building, you are visiting family, or staying at a hotel, be sure that you know where the emergency exits are located.
4. Burn Candles with Care
Candle use increases in the winter months. While candles can make a beautiful centerpiece or create warmth in a room, they can be very dangerous as well. The flame can trigger a house fire, and the hot wax can burn both children and adults alike if spilled. If you are using candles this season, be sure to keep them away from flammable materials, including curtains and Christmas trees. They should also only burn on a flat, stable surface to avoid wax-related mishaps.
If you are using a candle as a centerpiece, be sure that you cut the wick so that the flame does not get too high. It should also be enclosed or make sure that it does not burn too low and ignites the surrounding decorations. You should also keep candles away from wrapping paper and other decorations. Never leave a candle unattended.
When Holiday Injuries are Caused by Others
The holiday season is one of the most joyous times of the year, but it can turn unhappy quickly if there is an accident or injury. If you or a loved one have suffered a holiday injury due to the negligence of another person, you may have legal options. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience handling claims for compensation by victims of accidents caused by negligent or careless people or companies. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.