The holidays may look different this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic family gatherings may be canceled or may be smaller. One of the main risks we carry this year is a COVID-19 infection, however, there are other common accidents during the holidays that we may suffer. We have outlined the top 5 most common holiday accidents and how to keep your family safe.
1. Limit Your Exposure to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is still strongly affecting the U.S. and as the colder months begin, hospitals may be overwhelmed with more people infected with COVID-19 and other seasonal diseases such as the flu. To prevent a COVID-19 infection during the holidays make sure that you follow the safety precautions that government officials recommend. Try to keep six feet between other people, always wear a mask when you're outside your home, wash your hands regularly throughout the day, avoid touching your face, keep a well-balanced diet, and exercise regularly.
2. Prevent a House Fire
A common injury people suffer during the holidays are burn injuries. To prevent you or a loved one from suffering a burn injury, make sure children aren't left alone near stoves or other cooking appliances and heat sources, turn off the appliances once you're done using them, and keep flammable objects away from hot surfaces. Christmas trees can also cause an unfortunate fire accident in your home. If you're purchasing a plastic tree, make sure that the label says it's safe to add lights to it, if you're putting up a natural tree this year, keep it fresh by adding water to the base – a dry tree is more likely to catch on fire than a fresh one. When the tree has dried out, make sure you dispose of it as soon as possible.
3. Avoiding a Slip and Fall at Home
A slip and fall accident can happen at any time of the year, but snow and ice can make surfaces slippery and an accident is more likely to happen. A fall can result in injuries such as broken bones, concussions, muscle injuries, and back injuries. Older adults should be especially careful of suffering a slip and fall accident as they're more likely to suffer severe injuries such as a broken hip or a traumatic brain injury. Personal injury law firm Panish Shea & Boyle describes that the top cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. is falls. To prevent a slip and fall accident in your home make sure that you keep driveways, sidewalks and high traffic areas clear of snow and ice. Wear shoes that have good traction in them and check the ground to see if there's snow or ice and walk carefully on it.
4. Safe Food Handling
During the holidays, families everywhere will gather around the table and share a delicious meal. It's important to remember safe food handling measures to avoid food poisoning. Some of these include separating raw meats from other foods. Making sure meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products are thoroughly cooked to destroy any harmful bacteria and keeping food refrigerated. Some people are more likely to develop a foodborne illness, including pregnant women, young children, people with weakened immune systems and older adults.
5. Practice Safe Driving
If you're traveling to visit family during the holidays, follow these tips to prevent a car accident from ruining the festivities.
- Check the weather before you leave, if there's rain, snow, or other dangerous alerts, try postponing your road trip until the weather clears up.
- Do a general maintenance check on your car before your trip.
- Check traffic reports.
- Don't drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Don't drive drowsy.
- Avoid texting and driving and other distractions.
Have a safe holiday season by being a responsible driver, keeping your home safe from fire accidents and slip and falls, and make sure all food is handled safely. If you believe a negligent party caused your accident, discuss it with a legal expert who can guide you through an injury claim.