Safety Tips for a Happy Holiday !
The holiday season is a time for celebration. A time for gift giving and giving of ourselves. The spirit of the holidays is in the ‘togetherness’. It is in the thought we put into thinking about others. It is a selfless time, we forgive, take stock of what is important and become ‘better’ versions of ourselves.
At this time of the year, we become more charitable, more accepting, and generous with gifts, emotions, and our time. We recognize the need in others. We volunteer, donate, cook, call friends, and loved ones. Our hearts and minds are open.
Holidays can also be stressful. We may worry about finances and how we will manage to pay for it all. There is also the balancing act between family, friends, cooking, decorating, shopping, travel, wrapping gifts, mailing out packages, and yes….work.
Preparing for the holidays
- Lack of money is one of the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. This year, set a budget, and try not to spend more than planned.
* Give something personal. We can show love and caring with any gift that is meaningful.
- Get organized. Make lists to keep track of tasks to do and events to attend.
- Learn to say no. It's okay to say no to an event.
- Be realistic. Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family. Focus instead on the traditions that make holidays special for you.
- You may not be able to avoid stressful situations during the holidays. You can plan to respond to them in a healthy way.
- Try to pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Meditate, go to the gym, a walk or watch a holiday movie.
- Keep a regular sleep, meal, and exercise schedule. Limit your alcohol. Taking care of yourself will help you deal with stressful situations.
- Get support if you need it. Holidays can sometimes trigger depression. They can be especially hard if you are already dealing with the death of a loved one or the breakup of a relationship.
Keeping our families safe.
* Check all holiday light cords to make sure they are not frayed or broken. It is recommended to keep three or less strands of lights per extension cord.
* Be cautious of lights and ornaments made of glass. Our little ones may put loose items in their mouth.
* A safety gate around your holiday tree may also be a way to keep your toddler safe.
* If you have an artificial tree, look for the fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators, and other sources of heat.
* If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and check the water level daily.
* If using older decorations, check their labels. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.
* When decorating outside, make sure decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
* If using a ladder, be extra careful. Make sure to have good, stable placement and wear shoes that allow for good traction.
* Do not use electric lights on metallic trees.
* Remember to turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house. A timer is also a good idea.
* Keep children, pets, and decorations away from candles.
* If hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel, be sure they are not hanging too low.
Staying safe while traveling.
* Double-check all doors and windows before leaving. Remember to secure your garage door as well and remove any spare keys you have stashed outside.
* Unplug electronics and small appliances. By unplugging TVs, coffee makers, lamps, and computers, you can avoid costly repairs if there is a power surge or worse, a fire.
* Ask a neighbor or friend to check on your residence each day. Have them check the mail and pick up any newspapers to avoid the appearance that no one is home.
* Consider wearing a mask while in crowded places.
* Install exterior and interior lights with timers or motion detectors. This can help to leave the impression that someone might be home.
* Secure any vehicle being left behind and remove all valuables from it. If a vehicle burglary occurs while you are away, you may not even realize it until you return home. Avoid making your vehicle an easy target by locking the doors and removing all valuable items.
* Consider waiting to post photos and videos from your vacation to social media until after you’ve returned home. This advertises that you are not home and makes you a potential target for criminals.
Safe shopping tips.
- Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.
- Hold onto your money until requested and try to keep the sum of cash you are carrying out of others view.
- Data breaches have occurred at major retailers and credit card companies. Should something similar occur, you can reduce the risk by carrying and utilizing only one card while out shopping.
- Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity by reviewing your bill or periodically checking the online app.
- If shopping with children, select a central location to meet in case you are separated. Teach kids how to ask a security guard or employee for help if they're lost.
Vehicle safely tips.
With so many people out and about, you may encounter aggressive and/or drunk drivers on the road. Remember to drive defensively and do not allow road rage to rise. Parking lots can be dangerous too, so be on guard.
- If a drunk driver is in front of you, stay behind the vehicle, following at a safe distance. Do not attempt to pass—the drunk driver may swerve into your car. If the drunk driver is behind you, turn right at the next intersection so that the car can pass.
- Be patient when looking for a parking space. Do not speed up to catch that empty (or soon-to-be empty) spot and be cautious of other drivers who do.
- Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
- Do not leave anything valuable in your car.
- Lock your vehicle.
- Make a mental note of where you parked or take a picture of your location with your phone.
- Have your keys in hand when walking back to your vehicle.
- Look around your vehicle before approaching it.
- Store shopping bags out of plain sight, in your trunk if possible.
Online shopping security.
- It is best to use retailers you know.
- Research a business you haven't purchased from before by checking customer reviews or complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
- Refrain from using public Wi-Fi to make purchases or use a VPN to avoid hackers intercepting your information.
- Check a webpage's security by looking for the lock icon in the URL field and making sure the URL starts with "https", not just "http". The "s" means the site is safer and more.
On behalf of myself and my staff, we wish you a wonderful holiday season. We believe the holiday spirit is in all of us. We have the ability to awaken it in ourselves and in others.
Healthy Kids Care at Sunrise