Ways to stay safe this holiday season
Many of our clients are looking forward to being with family and friends over the Christmas holidays versus 2020 when Covid 19 was highly active. To keep the season merry, experienced experts at the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CDC) have some information and tips that can help us all avoid all-to-common hazards that come with the holidays.
On average, there are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with about half of the incidents involving falls, the CDC found. “It’s good to keep in mind that your homeowners insurance may cover damages to your home, but any injuries you sustain yourself would go through your personal medical insurance,” notes Joseph D. Sanzo, Senior Insurance Professional at the Barnum Financial Group. He encourages keeping all insurance information up to date, as well as having contact information for your agent/insurance carrier handy. “Especially with the holiday season, claims departments can get busy, so the faster you can get everything set up, the better chance you have of getting your claim processed sooner.”
Taking good care of the tree is important, too. Give it plenty of water and check the water level frequently. From 2015 to 2017, on average, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires (in November and December), resulting in 20 deaths, 160 injuries and nearly $50 million in property damage each year. Only use lights tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Throw out sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, says CDC. If you are shopping for an artificial tree, perhaps for the first time, make sure it has a fire-resistant label. Place burning candles in sight, away from flammable items, and blow them out before leaving the room.
No one is more excited at Christmas than the children but be careful with selecting the toys that are under the tree. In 2019, there were an estimated 162,700 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries. Unfortunately, there were some deaths associated with choking on small parts, like small balls and small toy parts and riding toys. But toy recalls continue to decline, with nine recalls in fiscal year 2020, three involving a lead violation, versus 172 recalls in 2008, with 19 involving lead violations. Also, know your child. Follow age guidance and other safety information on the toy packaging and choose toys that match your child’s interests and abilities, CDC experts urge.
In a way, negotiating a safe Christmas can be compared to other family activities such as going camping, boating, or taking a vacation. We generally know or map out where we are going, to make sure we have the right gear and clothes and take reasonable precautions. So, when it comes to Christmas, we at Barnum wish you a safe and merry one!