Tips to keep your decorating, shopping and gathering under control.
- Emergency rooms treat thousands of patients for decorating injuries in November and December.footnote Some of the most common injuries are falls, lacerations and back strains.footnote
- Use caution on ladders. Don't stand on chairs or furniture to hang decorations.
- Keep breakable decorations up high, out of reach of children. Also consider keeping fragile ornaments in a box while your kids are young.
- Be cautious of fire risks:
- Check holiday lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets. Toss any that you find.
- Keep any candles on a stable surface, out of reach of children or pets, and away from the tree or other flammable objects.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Choose an artificial tree with a 'fire resistant' label or a fresh live tree that has green, sturdy needles.
- Set up your tree away from fireplaces and vents.
- Always park in well-lit areas.
- Don't leave purchased gifts in plain view - lock them in your trunk.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Only bring credit cards you plan to use.
- Check your bank statements regularly during the season to spot suspicious activity.
- Avoid aggressive and angry driving.
- Adjust following distance and speed in snowy or icy conditions.
- Designate a sober driver or arrange for a cab ahead of time if you plan to drink at holiday gatherings.
4. Cooking and Dining
- Always have a cook in the kitchen. Don't leave stove burners or the oven unattended.
- Occupy the kids away from the kitchen - too many hot appliances and dangerous utensils.
- Keep any towels, pot holders and other flammable items away from the stove and other heat sources.
- Help prevent foodborne illness:footnote
- Wash hands frequently.
- Keep prepared foods away from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
- Cook food thoroughly, using a food thermometer to determine doneness.
- Internal food temperature should be 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above.footnote
- Refrigerate food within two hours at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.footnote
- Ditch leftovers after 4 days.footnote
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