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Protect Your Holiday Plans from Hazards

’Tis the season to be … safe? Yes, according to experts. Everything from holiday decorations to travel can introduce safety hazards. Use these tips to keep your holidays happy and healthy.

Safe Cooking
It can be great to have extra helpers in the kitchen, but make sure you aren’t distracted from taking these precautions:

  • Follow cooking instructions carefully—especially when preparing turkey or dishes with egg, such as eggnog.
  • Keep raw foods and cooked foods separate. Use different utensils when preparing them.
  • Wash your hands, utensils, and counters often with warm, soapy water. Rinse well.
  • Refrigerate leftovers right away.

On the Road
If you’re traveling, follow these tips to avoid problems:

  • Bring extra medication along in case your return trip is delayed.
  • If you’re flying, pack your medication in your carry-on bag, not your checked luggage.
  • Sitting for long periods in a car or airplane increases the risk of deep-vein blood clots in the legs. To avoid clots, drink plenty of water, consider wearing support stockings, and stretch your legs often. Walk up and down the aisle of the plane or make frequent stops with the car to walk around.  To stretch your calf muscles on an airplane, stand on your tiptoes or curl and uncurl your toes.  

Deck the Halls with Care
Christmas trees and candles pose an extra fire hazard, so make sure you take extra precaution to keep your home safe during the holidays.

  • Make sure the tree, candles and other holiday decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources, such as fireplaces or portable heaters, the Red Cross advises.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before you go to bed.
  • Test your smoke detectors.

Watch Out for Little Ones
There are a lot of things to consider when hosting young guests. If you’re not used to having kids around, take these steps to keep the little ones safe.

  • Make sure medicine is out of sight and out of reach.
  • Keep batteries from hearing aids and other small electronics away from children.   Every year, children have to be rushed to the emergency room after swallowing the button-shaped batteries in toys and hearing aids.




“Air Travel Health Tips.” American Academy of Family Physicians.
“CPSC Warns: As Button Battery Use Increases, So Do Battery-Related Injuries and Deaths.” Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Food Safety Tips for Healthy Holidays,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“How Can Deep Vein Thrombosis Be Prevented?” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.
“Home Safety: Here’s How.” American Academy of Pediatrics.
 “Medication Safety.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Tips to Keep Your Holidays Safe and Fire-Free.” American Red Cross.
“2013 Holiday Safety Tips.” American Academy of Pediatrics.