A time for friends, family and festivities, the holiday season is right around the corner. And while it may look a bit different than in years past, it will likely include at least some of the normal hoorah of the holidays: decorating, cooking and gift giving. Ensure the Grinch doesn’t pay you a visit in the midst of the prep and planning with these holiday safety tips.
O’ Christmas trees, how lovely are their branches? It’s hard
to beat a tree decked out with lights, ornaments and tinsel. Help children hang ornaments and keep any that may look like treats to toddlers or pets high on the tree. Only use lights that were tested from a recognized laboratory to help ensure they’ll hold up through the holidays since two-fifths of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Also, be sure to remove any other nearby forms of heat – like can candles or heaters – and turn off all lights, decorations and heaters (indoor and outdoor) before going to bed. If you have pets, opting for artificial greenery may be your best bet as tree needles, holly and mistletoe can cause nausea and even cardiovascular problems for furry friends.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning your hands and all food prep surfaces before and after a meal, separating different types of raw food to prevent contamination, ensuring you cook your meats at the right temperature and refrigerating foods promptly to help keep everyone healthy over the holidays. Cook whole beef, veal, lamb, ham, pork and fin fish to 145° Fahrenheit; ground meats to 160°F; and all poultry to 165°F.
They’re meant to bring joy to all the girls and boys, so make sure that’s the case by choosing age-appropriate ones. Be wary of toys containing button (coin-sized) batteries or magnets, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as they can be swallowed and cause severe internal injuries. The Academy estimates 2,500 American kids ingest button batteries each year. Avoid electrical shock by saving toys that need to be plugged into an outlet until children are at least 10.
May these safety tips help keep your holidays be merry and bright!