Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But the gatherings could put children and families at a greater risk for preventable injury and fire. Here are some holiday season safety tips.

General safety

  • Make sure guests are aware of children’s abilities – they may not have seen them lately. For example, the baby maybe pulling up or starting to walk and can reach things that were previously out of reach.
  • Avoid using candles with flames. Keep matches and lighters up high or locked up.
  • Make sure your smoke detector is working – have a carbon monoxide detector if you have gas appliances.
  • Guests should secure all their medications – no purses on the floor, etc.

Cooking safety

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove top.
  • Cook with handles turned inward.
  • Keep sharp kitchen tools out of reach.
  • Keep children away from the stove, preferably out of the kitchen or in a highchair or behind a gate.
  • Stay home when cooking with the oven.

Safe home decorations

  • Use flame resistant or retardant decorations. 
  • Take care lights are used properly – indoor for indoor.
  • Turn lights out when going to bed. 
  • Keep candles away from decorations and curtains. If you’re using candles with flames extinguish them when you leave the room. 

Safe holiday entertaining

  • Keep hot food in the center of the table, and cover or place lids on hot drinks.
  • Be mindful of your guests’ allergies or health issues.
  • Share your home’s escape plan with your guests.
  • Assign someone to watch the small children during gatherings or celebrations.

Most of all, remember to have a wonderful time with family and friends!

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Sally Wilson, RN, BSN, was the Education, Prevention, and Outreach Coordinator for the Division of Trauma and Burns at Children’s National.

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