As we enter this season of celebration, it’s important to remember that even the merriest and brightest days can turn dark with just one accident and trip to the ER. The ESFI reports that holiday decoration and Christmas tree fires result in twice as many injuries as the average winter home fire. And the National Safety Council estimates that Thanksgiving travel, historically one of the most dangerous driving periods of the year, will result in 46,000 injuries in 2013.
Thankfully, there are a lot of great resources out there for staying safe this holiday. Here are just a few:
Travel Safety: If you are going to drive at off hours, be aware of the risk of driving drowsy and get at least six hours of sleep. Also, Plan on taking a break every couple of hours. Schedule your breaks for the sake of safety, rather than for the sake of filling your gas tank (Washington Post). For parents traveling with children, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has a thorough step-by-step preparation guide.
Cooking Safety: If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly, and use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on (Red Cross). And for those of you planning on frying up your turkey this year, William Shatner has some advice for you.
Turkey Bowl Safety: We love a brisk game of football in the backyard while the turkey is roasting, but let’s face it, we’re not pros. Loyola Medicine has practical advice for avoiding football injuries this Thanksgiving.
Decoration Safety: When trimming the tree or putting lights on the house, choose the right light for the job: light strings and other decorations are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Read the package instructions, and never exceed the recommended wattage. Once the package is opened, remember to check for the appropriate approval sticker appearing on the cord for products incorporating light strings (Electrical Safety Authority).