The holidays are fast approaching, and given all of the events of 2020, we’re especially excited this year to get into the spirit of the season. Lighting candles, hanging up lights, exchanging gifts, sitting by cozy fireplaces, drinking hot beverages—we can’t wait!

With the increase in COVID-19 cases in British Columbia, all of us will be staying at home and having small gatherings instead of our usual big parties and dinners. And even though the holidays will look different this year, our risk of injury at home has not changed—in fact, it may increase as we juggle work, school, and “cabin fever” on top of the holiday season.

So, we’re asking you to add one small thing to your to-do list this winter: stop and have a word with yourself when preparing for the holidays. For example:

  • Use a safe and sturdy ladder to clean leaves from gutters or hang lights. Instead of leaaaaaning over to hang that last light, climb down and move the ladder over.
  • Burns and scalds from hot foods and liquids are common among kids under 4-years-old. Keep pot handles, loose cords, and mugs of tea or hot chocolate out of reach of young children.
  • Remember to install a gate or fence around your fireplace to reduce the risk of burns.1 Remember not to place candles within reach of children or near flammable objects, such as wrapping paper.
  • Discard frayed, cracked, or broken light strings or extension cords. And, remember not to string LED and conventional light strings together, and don’t exceed 6 light strings to a single electrical outlet.
  • If you have a Christmas tree, make sure the stand is sturdy and not at risk of being knocked over by kids or pets.
  • During the holiday season, a motor vehicle crash occurs every 3 minutes.2 Leave lots of time to get to your destination so you are not rushing and remember to take weather and road conditions into account.
  • Be mindful of driver fatigue, especially when driving long distances after a heavy meal. Driver fatigue slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment, and increases your risk of crashing.

From all of us at Preventable, we want to wish you a happy and safe holiday with your loved ones.

 

 

  1. BCIRPU (2019 Dec). Injury Insight: Landing in Hot Water: Burn Prevention for Young Children. Available: https://www.injuryresearch.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Injury-Insight-Burns-in-Young-Children-Dec-2019-FINAL.pdf
  2. ICBC (2019 Dec). ICBC: A crash occurs every three minutes over the holidays. Available: https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2019-dec20.aspx