It’s the most wonderful time of the year—unless your holiday is disrupted by a trip to the hospital, a visit from the fire department, or a case of the blues that steals the joy of the season.
How do you keep your holidays as safe as they are festive? Here are five tips to keep in mind.
You may be trying out a brand new recipe, roasting your first big turkey, or just so caught up in fun and conversation that you can’t remember how long the roast beast has been sitting out.
To keep food poisoning off your guest list, try these tips from the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, stuffing is a common culprit of food-borne illness, so pay special attention to its temperature, and don’t ever stuff a turkey the night before roasting.
Deep frying a turkey includes different hazards, including fryer related fires, burns, explosions, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Use these safety tips from the National Safety Council to stay safe.
(Don’t) Keep the Home Fires Burning
According to the National Fire Protection Association, holiday decorations cause 860 home fires each year, and Christmas trees trigger another 210 blazes. Untended candles and fireplaces also increase the risk that your holiday will go up in smoke.
Following these tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International can help your holidays stay delightful, not frightful.
To Grandmother’s House We (Carefully) Go
Today’s parents are experts at child proofing their own homes, but holiday travel takes babies and children into new environments where toilet seat locks and safety latches are not part of the floor plan.
Even the most child-proofed grandparent’s home may pose a real potential safety risk: poisoning. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, grandparents’ medicines are among the most dangerous causes of childhood poisoning.
If you’re traveling with kids or hosting them, these tips from Poisoning.org can be a big help.
Home for the Holidays
In 2015, more than 100 million travelers hit the road for the holidays, according to AAA, and that number is only expected to increase this year. Here are three tips to remember if you will be driving to join in the season’s festivities:
- Try traveling a bit earlier or later than the typical holiday travel days. Traveling on the holiday typically means less traffic overall.
- As you eat, drink, and be merry, make sure you are not impaired before you head out in your car. If needed, call a cab or app-driven ride service.
- Avoid distractions, such as texting while driving. The government reports that distracted driving results in hundreds of thousands of injuries per year, as well as thousands of fatalities.
Not Every Spirit is Bright
Despite the joy of the season, many people experience depression or “the blues.” And for Millennials, holiday gatherings can also bring a different kind of stress.
An article in Fortune reports that 70% of this generation experiences social anxiety around the holidays. Some tips for navigating these stressors:
- Choose gatherings where you feel the highest comfort level.
- Don’t feel pressure to attend too many parties. A little quiet time can help you stay rested and refreshed.
- Seek counseling if your holiday social anxiety or depression escalates from discomfort to a serious issue that interferes with your ability to enjoy life. This list of emergency hotlines is good to keep on hand if you, a friend, or family member needs help.
Above all, remember that no holiday is ever perfect. Don’t get stressed out trying to do too much in too little time. You’ll enjoy friends and family more if you’re relaxed and rested.