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Keep the HAPPY in Happy Holidays
Thursday December 10, 2015 | staff

Some of these tips are basics we were taught as children. But a friendly reminder always helps, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.


1. Travel safely: All of the basics apply here. Don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted, buckle up and keep your children properly secured in car seats or booster seats. No one wants to be in a car accident over the holidays.


2. Wash your hands frequently: Clean hands are one of the most effective ways to prevent illness and the spread of germs. Health professionals recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.


3. Prevent personal injuries: More personal injuries occur around the holidays. Use step stools when decorating. Slow down. For children, keep potentially dangerous toys and choking hazards out of their reach.


4. Beware of fires: Remember, most home fires occur during the holidays. Keep candles away from children, pets and drapery. Don’t leave stoves or open flame unattended. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.


5. Prepare meals safely: Watch your sleeves around the flame of the stove, and turn pot handles inward to avoid spilling and burns. Thaw out frozen meat in the refrigerator and watch cross contamination by keeping raw meat away from other foods and eating surfaces. Don’t leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.


6. Manage your stress: Balance is the key over the holidays – work, social life and home life. Also make sure you do not over-commit or spend too much on gifts. Try to get enough rest and keep positive.


7. Get check-ups and vaccinations: Come the new year, make sure you schedule and attend your annual physical and that your vaccinations are up to date. Doctor visits and screenings can find and prevent potential problems.


CHILDREN'S TOYS: Toys are the perfect holiday gift for children, but they're not without their risks. According to a study from the Nationwide Children's Hospital, toys are responsible for sending children to the hospital every three minutes in the United States. To keep your kids safe, keep the following in mind:


Safety Recalls - Children's toys and products are recalled for safety issues all the time. You can check whether a specific toy is recalled by using online resources like the CPSC website (Consumer Product Safety Commission).


Product Reviews - You should always research toys and products before you buy them. Consumer reviews can help you spot a potentially dangerous product or one that may not be age appropriate for your child.


Follow Instructions - Make sure you always read instructions, age restrictions, and manufacturer guidelines before giving a toy to a child. You should also make sure they have a solid understanding of how to safely use the product.


Riding Toys - Researchers have found that riding toys cause more injuries to children than any other toy. If you're getting your child a scooter, bike, or tricycle, make sure they wear proper safety equipment and are comfortable riding before letting them loose.

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