Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas: Holiday Safety Tips That Work Year Round

Some tips on year-round holiday safety for children and the elderly, and pets. Including suggestions on lights and decorations, costumes and plants, and should pets be given as gifts.

Holidays can be a time of fun and an ideal opportunity to decorate and dress up. Holidays also seem to bring with them unexpected accidents and mishaps. Whether the holiday is Christmas, Easter, Halloween, 4th of July, or any holiday that you find yourself decorating, dressing up, or going out to celebrations, some common sense and a few tips to remember can help avoid many of these mishaps:

Lights

Decorative lights are not just for Christmas anymore, but all the rules that apply to Christmas lights should apply. Check for frayed wires, if any discard. Check whether lights you are using are indoor or outdoor. Use accordingly. Look for and use the newer "˜cool' burning lights. Do not run cords where they will trip someone.

Be careful of cords in reference to small children and pets accessing them. They pose an additional threat of electrocution or strangulation to both. Lights should not be strung on metal poles or other metal objects.

Indoor and Outdoor Decorations

Indoor decorations offer there own set of mishaps. Children and adults alike get used to a layout that they are in day to day. Any disturbance or addition to this familiarity can lead to a fall or bump. Try to not put any decorations in common walk areas. Avoid rearrangement of furniture to accommodate decorations unless necessary. If there are elderly people or someone that has inhibited vision take special care and warn them of any changes.

Outdoor decorations should follow these same rules plus. Do not block pathways. Do not block views associated with driveways. Make sure any decoration outside is secured to avoid it becoming a "˜flying' hazard if there is wind. Do not rely on electrical cords for this purpose.

Costumes and Dress Up

Dressing up can be fun. Kids at Halloween have been wearing costumes and masks for as long as we can remember. Dressing up just seems to coincide with many of the holidays. These practices lead to their own set of hazards. Masks and costumes should never inhibit the view of the person wearing them. This rule should be followed whether they are wearing the costume outside or inside. Outside it causes the obvious hazards such as not seeing traffic, strangers approaching, and steps or curbs. Inside, inhibited view could lead to a fall down steps, tripping over others, furniture, etc.

Dressing up sometimes just means wearing clothing that we would not normally wear. How can this be dangerous? For the most part, it is not. An exception though is high-heeled shoes. High-heeled shoes should only be worn if you feel comfortable walking in them. Avoid ice or other slippery surfaces also, as high heels rarely, if ever, offer any traction. Falls can hurt and injury can occur even when falling just from the height of shoes.

Plants and Small Ornaments

These offer their own set of hazards. Some plants are poisonous and you should never have them in a house where children are present. Not even "˜just for the holiday'! Pets can also fall prey to poisonous plants. Small ornaments or even the hooks used to hang them can pose a choking threat to children and pets. Keep well out of reach of children. Children also love to climb and there is nothing more tempting to entice a child to climb where they should not be, than decorations up high. Keep this in mind when planning your overall decoration scheme. Materials that ornaments are made of should be considered. If you have a choice of glass or soft fabric ornaments, again, think of them and go with the fabric.

Holiday Specific Tips

Halloween:

Make sure kids trick or treat only with an adult present.

Only visit houses that you know.

If you allow your children to trick or treat with a group in a neighborhood where you may not know everyone, remind them to stay with the group, and that all candy must be checked by a parent or other adult.

Always be aware of traffic.

Never wear masks; opt for makeup, keeping vision clear.

Christmas Trees:

If you have a live tree, place away from heat sources such as fireplaces or heaters.

Keep watered.

As visually appealing as many of the new light up decorations are, never place them by the tree. They can cause an additional threat of fire.

Make sure tree is secure in stand.

Never allow children to play with or by the tree, it can fall or ornaments can cause choking hazards.

Remove tree right after the holiday.

Discard of properly; do not leave by house, as this is also an additional threat of fire.

Easter:

Everyone loves an egg hunt, but eggs that sit out are a threat of food poisoning. If you want to hide eggs, use the plastic store bought ones.

4th of July:

Fireworks should be left to the professionals. Go to the local fireworks display and enjoy the show there. Even simple fireworks such as sparklers can cause burns and other injuries, so avoid them altogether.

Pets as Gifts:

Rabbits and chicks are a common gift at Easter, puppies, and kittens at Christmas. Never, ever give them! A pet should be an occasion all by itself, never tied into a holiday. Decorations alone are a hazard to the new pet, besides most animals dislike the commotion associated with any holiday.

Following these tips can help you have a safer holiday experience. Have fun, but BE SAFE!

© High Speed Ventures 2011