Staying Safe This Christmas Season

By Intermountain Trauma Managers Group

The Christmas holiday is always busy and jam-packed with lots of activities. Here are some tips to keep you safe and injury-free.

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Falls

  1. Keep sidewalks and driveways free of snow and ice. Falling on icy sidewalks is the number one cause for visits to the emergency department. Use sand or ice melt to prevent slipping.
  2. Falls while putting up Christmas lights and decorations is another – do not use stools or chairs for those hard-to-reach areas. Rather, use a sturdy ladder with additional help.
  3. Ensure that your home environment is free from items that may cause people to trip or stumble, especially around the Christmas tree (extension cords, light strands, etc.).

Home Safety

  1. Check your furnace. It should be cleaned and checked regularly by professionals.
  2. Inspect your fireplace for safe operations. Use a screen or glass front, never leave your fireplace unattended, and don't burn gift wrappings, tissue, or evergreens in the fireplace.
  3. Make sure circuits are not overloaded.
  4. Check cords and plugs for wear, frayed insulation, cracks, and loose connections.
  5. Place your tree away from heat sources and open flames. Check the lights before placing them on the tree. Look for loose sockets or broken and frayed wires.
  6. Keep water in tree base container and check it often.
  7. Turn lights off when you leave your home unattended.
  8. Never use a regular string of lights on a metal tree. The danger of shock is great. Use a spotlight to illuminate a metal tree.

Accidental Poisoning in Small Children

  1. Special care should be taken to avoid small objects or toys that children can swallow.
  2. Plants and greens used for decoration may be poisonous. For example: Jerusalem Cherry Plant, Jequirity Bean, and Poinsettias.
  3. All toys should be age appropriate; toys that shoot projectiles should not be made available to infants and toddlers.
  4. Toys should be non-flammable and without lead-based paint.

Holiday Driving

  1. Allow extra time for heavy traffic and poor weather conditions.
  2. Be courteous and respect the rights of pedestrians and other drivers.
  3. Be on the look-out for inebriated drivers.
  4. Expect the unexpected from pedestrians carrying large Christmas packages.