The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year and most accidents tend to happen when we take our eye off the ball.
According to Seth Podolsky, M.D., an emergency department physician at Cleveland Clinic, staying safe during the holidays often comes down to avoiding distractions.
“You may not be paying attention as much when you’re going to cut food, you may accidentally cut yourself; when you reach for something you may not go over that candle, the kids are running around and you have an eye on them and an eye on the stove, so really just try to remain focused,” said Dr. Podolsky.
The holidays are a great time for gatherings with family, friends and co-workers, but sometimes folks tend to indulge a little bit too much.
Dr. Podolsky said the most important thing to remember is to have a plan for a designated driver to keep yourself safe and keep others on the road safe as well.
It’s also important to not get distracted while working in the kitchen, so if you’re trying to handle too much in the kitchen at once, don’t be afraid to recruit some help.
Food left on the stove or in the oven too long can easily catch fire and get out of control if the cook gets distracted and forgets about it.
Dr. Podolsky reminds us that with a busy household full of people, it’s easy to overlook who is minding the children.
He said it’s important never to assume that someone is handling this important responsibility. Always make sure that someone responsible is designated to watch small children at all times, because accidents can happen.
“So, it’s a great time for the kids, right? Christmas, Santa Claus is coming, Hanukkah Harry is coming – you’ve got to look out for those toys,” said Dr. Podolsky. “Making sure things aren’t choking hazards for infants. Watch out for those button batteries, that they don’t get swallowed, and really just giving gifts that are age appropriate.”
Dr. Podolsky also said it’s a good idea to keep an eye on elderly family members. It can be easy for an elderly person to become fatigued at holiday gatherings, increasing their risk for a fall.