MN Parents: Don’t Let Your Kids Fall Victim to These Holiday Dangers
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year that many people, especially kids, look forward to all year long. Unfortunately, there are some serious hazards that come along with all that joy and excitement – hazards that many parents strive to avoid.
Certain injuries are more common this time of the year for children than others. It’s important to understand what injuries tend to be prominent during this season in order to circumvent them. Here’s what you need to know to keep your family safe this holiday season, including how to avoid these holiday dangers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that over 150,000 kids are treated for injuries related to toys each year. That’s why it’s vital to make sure, when you buy your child a toy, that you follow the safety information and age guidance provided.
Some toys, especially riding toys or bikes, should always have a helmet worn when using them, as well as other safety gear such as knee or elbow pads. Also, small toys and any small pieces of toys should be kept away from little kids, since they’re a choking hazard.
During the holidays, people love to have a roaring fire or light some pretty candles – and let’s not forget all the cooking! While these warm activities create a lot of fond memories for people, they also initiate a hazard that leads to one of the season’s biggest injuries: burns.
When cooking, make sure you don’t leave anything unattended, and keep kids out of the kitchen. Use candle holders for candles, and maintain proper protection around your fireplace to prevent burns.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall injuries are quite common in the winter, usually caused by slick walking surfaces due to precipitation. Make sure you keep your sidewalks and driveway clear and free from debris as well as snow and ice. Shoes with good traction are also essential to keep your feet on solid ground, especially for kids who like to run around and play in the winter weather.
Around the holidays, car accidents rates go up quite a bit. This is for a variety of reasons, including an increase in holiday travel as well as a larger number of people who get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking.
It’s a good idea to try to avoid travel on the roads during peak times of the day. Do not drive distracted. If you are involved in an accident, make sure to get yourself and your family appropriate medical treatment to ensure there aren’t significant injuries.
Also, driving while intoxicated is 100 percent preventable. If you’re going to a holiday party or get-together and want to drink, make sure to have a designated driver. Otherwise, use a rideshare service. If you can’t do either, stay sober. A DUI in Minnesota isn’t something you want to have to handle – and you don’t want to risk injury to anyone else on the roads, including children.
Christmas trees and other holiday decorations are beautiful, but they’re hazardous as well. Believe it or not, the Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that over 200 people each year are hurt by holiday decorations. Real trees are also fire hazards if they dry out, so keep them watered well. Artificial trees should be fire resistant.
Replace any old holiday lights with new ones, too. And don’t leave on lights when you’re sleeping or not at home.
About the Author:
A lifelong Minnesotan, founding partner Ronald R. Envall has spent his entire legal career fighting for the little guy, focusing on workers’ compensation, Social Security, and personal injury cases. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Top Rated attorney in Duluth, placing him in the top 5 percent of all workers comp lawyers across the state. In his free time, Mr. Envall serves on the boards of several area government and nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, which supports consumer rights.