Friday, October 29, 2021
Preparing for the holidays involves more than just making meals, buying gifts and booking your travel plans (or getting ready for visitors). It also involves taking steps to ensure you and your loved ones are safe and sound.
Here are a few holiday safety tips from the American Red Cross, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Be cautious with your holiday decorations.
- Make sure to look for fire-resistant labels on artificial trees and keep them away from heat sources like fireplaces or heaters.
- If you have a live tree, make sure it is fresh, cut about two inches off the trunk and keep it watered.
- Do not place breakable ornaments or ornaments with small parts that come off on low tree branches if you have small children.
- Avoid stringing more than three strands of lights together on each extension cord and check to make sure cords are not broken or frayed.
- If decorating outside, make sure decorations are labeled for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to trees or your house.
- Make sure to turn off holiday lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Avoid handing stockings on the fireplace when it is in use.
- Keep holiday plants that may be poisonous away from children. This includes amaryllis, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and mistletoe.
- Handle food safely to prevent illness.
- Wash your hands often, especially when preparing food.
- Use different cooking utensils and cutting boards for cooked and uncooked meats to avoid contamination.
- Ensure meat is cooked properly by using a meat thermometer.
- Store food in the refrigerator within two hours after eating; leftovers from Thanksgiving are good for three to four days if stored correctly in the refrigerator.
- Buy toys appropriate to the age of the child.
- If under age 3, avoid giving toys with small parts; these are choking hazards.
- Be careful when giving gifts with magnets or button batteries. These can be dangerous if swallowed.
- Try to avoid toys that need to be plugged into a wall outlet until a child is 10 or older.
- Make sure to give a helmet and any other safety gear if you give a bicycle, scooter or other riding toy.
In addition to these tips, remember to follow local, state and national guidelines to prevent the spread of infection. If you haven’t already, get your COVID-19 and flu vaccines; continue to practice good hand hygiene by washing or sanitizing your hands often; wear a mask (especially if you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine); practice physical distancing and avoid large groups; and cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then clean your hands.
At Norman Regional Health System, we want you to be healthy and safe. If you need medical advice, log on to Norman Regional Virtual Care and visit with a provider today from the comfort of your home or office. It’s quick, convenient and only costs $55 for each visit.