With just a couple days to go until we dig into the gifts that have been taunting us beneath the Christmas tree, it’s important to take a look at those situations that could contribute to a potential tragedy. Doing so will allow you to do whatever you can to avoid such strife on Christmas day. Helping in this regard is the UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, whose Nethercutt Emergency Center has provided some last minute tips that can help ensure the safety of persons in the Los Angeles area and elsewhere.
Be careful not to lose sight of Christmas tree safety in the waning days of the season. This is the time when that weeks-old tree is going to dry out fast, getting brittler and brittler by the day. As such, you need to increase the attention paid to fire prevention. If want a little extra heat when you open gifts on Christmas morning, make sure a space heater is positioned far from the tree. If the tree is near a fireplace, move it an ample distance away (Santa could use the exercise that the extra walking distance affords).
If you have young children, they could pull on the tree in the excitement to get toward their gifts. Unfortunately, this can pull the entire tree down, an especial danger when the tree is as dried out as it likely is at the end of the season. Make sure to either trim those lower branches or hand out gifts to each child. And if the tree has left pieces strewn around the floor, pick those up so pets or kids don’t attempt to eat them.
There are other poisoning threats that you’ll want to minimize. Poinsettias and holly are particularly hazardous, and you should keep them out of your house. Invest in artificial versions if you have to. If you’re traveling to someone else’s place for Christmas dinner, then ask them ahead of time if they have those plants in their home. If so, you may need to keep a closer eye on your kids while you’re visiting.
You have to be particularly careful when you’re traveling if you plan on drinking any alcohol. There should be some member of your family who abstains from alcohol so that they can get everyone home safely at the end of the night.
Finally, although you may have kept a close eye on the toys you bought your children, looking out for various hazards, others who have bought your kids gift may not have been so attentive. Make sure every gift your child receives is appropriate, and return those that could pose a choking risk or other hazard.