Holidays are some of the best times of the year, and November and December are both months when holidays are particularly important. Thanksgiving quickly followed by Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza are times when many families get together and when many homes are filled with decorations and holiday cooking. While all of this celebration is exciting it can be a time of accidents if persons involved are not extra careful. It is wise to stop and consider the following suggestions to help ensure your holiday is the best from start to finish.
Transportation: Travel is often a big part of a holiday celebration. For the most part, families no longer live in the same geographic area and so will often travel to spend the holidays together. Try to plan ahead to allow plenty of time, whether it is for public transportation or private. Rushing to make a travel deadline or to arrive at a precise moment can cause rash decisions and avoidance of rules meant to keep travelers safe. If you are driving, make sure your vehicle is serviced before heading out, and you are rested and not under a lot of stress. And, it goes without saying, no drinking and driving!!
In the kitchen: Planning and preparing holiday meals is a lot of work but also a lot of fun. Often there are several folks in the kitchen at the same time and, if not careful, can cause accidents from spilling hot foods or splashing hot grease. Watch for wet areas on the floor as hurrying feet can easily slip and fall. Probably the best way to avoid accidents is to plan ahead and make a “to-do” list for each person helping. Have ingredients, recipes, and necessary cooking utensils laid out for easy access. Make a plan for orderly clean-up and keep a good-sized trash container handy. Be sure to quickly refrigerate leftovers to prevent spoilage and possible food poisoning.
Decorating: Most holiday homes will want to decorate for whatever their tradition dictates. Often live plants are used as part of the decorations, so be sure to know about the plants you use. For example, the leaves of the poinsettia plant are poisonous if eaten by small children or pets. Lights and candles are also a big part of holiday decorations. Be sure cords and sockets are safe. When using candles keep them away from young children and from near flammable material such as curtains and tablecloths. When putting up decorations where a ladder is needed, always have two persons doing the work, one to climb and one to spot. Keep glass ornaments away from small children and pets, and should one break be sure to get up all the pieces. Use a damp paper towel to collect the tiny slivers that sometimes are left over, even after vacuuming
Yes, holidays are great fun and a wonderful time for families to gather. Take time to be safe so you can be sure the celebration will be a happy memory, not a memory of a trip to the emergency room.