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Your trees are up and your parties planned—the holidays are in full swing. This busy time of year brings much joy and happiness, but can also bring increased safety concerns. We want to encourage you to be mindful of the extra precautions you can take during your celebrations to help you and your family have a happy holiday and a safe new year.

Fire Safety:

  • Recycle your Christmas trees as soon as you can after the celebrations come to a close. Trees dry out quickly and greatly increase the risk of household fires.
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets with too many plugs.
  • Throw out any lights with frayed cords.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
With the colder weather we’ve been experiencing, people are beginning to use their heaters and fireplaces with more prevalence. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is very real and something to be aware of. In order to prevent it, remember to:

  • Have your heater inspected annually to ensure there are no leaks.
  • Have your chimney cleaned before your first fire of the year.
  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector and test the batteries regularly.

Fall Preventions:
In our line of work, we see an increase in falls off roofs and ladders before and after Christmas. Remember that falls can occur while hanging and removing lights. We encourage you to:

  • Use a sturdy ladder and have a helper hold it in place while you climb up and down.
  • Be extra careful when climbing on the roof.

New Year’s Eve Safety:
Everyone loves celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends and family, but we want to remind you that there is a way to do it safely. We see an increase in alcohol and firework-related incidents on and around New Year’s Eve. In order to stay safe, follow these tips when ringing in the New Year:

Alcohol Safety:

  • Don’t drink and drive! Remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving.
  • Make a safety plan BEFORE you consume any alcohol. Many injuries and deaths on roads every year are due to drinking and driving.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
  • Stay with your friends and family. If you need to leave them, maintain communication so someone always knows where you are/who you are with.

Firework Precautions:

  • Fireworks and alcohol do not mix. Designate a sober individual to manage the fireworks.
  • Never aim a firework at anyone.
  • Do not shoot fireworks off your body.
  • Fireworks should be set off only in open spaces and in approved locations.
  • Back away quickly after lighting a firework.
  • Keep a bucket of water and a hose close by in case of fire.
  • Supervise children closely.

Following these simple tips will help you enjoy this special time of year and keep you, your friends, and your family safe. Happy holidays!

Kristen Hullum, MSN RN PCCN
Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator
St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

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