Nearly ready for the big day? While you are finishing the last minute shopping, baking mince pies, organising carrots for the reindeer, and decorating the tree, the Irish Red Cross has holiday safety tips to help keep the festive season safe, happy and bright.
1. Be ready for the Christmas day visits
Get your car ready before setting off to see your friends and relatives on Christmas day. Put together an emergency kit and include items such as blankets or sleeping bags, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, compass and road maps, shovel, tire repair kit and pump, extra clothing, flares, and a tow rope. Make sure your phone is charged.
Drive your sleigh and reindeer safely. Avoid driving in a storm.
If you must travel, let someone know where you are going, the route you’re taking to get there, and when you expect to arrive. If the car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along their predetermined route.
2. Help prevent the spread of the flu.
Stay home if you’re sick. Wash hands with soap and water as often as possible, or use an alcohol-based hand rub. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
3. Follow Santa Clause’s fashion lead – dress in layers.
When it’s cold outside, layered lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
4. Use a first aid-trained babysitter
With an Irish Red Cross first aid course, your babysitter can learn how to administer basic first aid; properly hold and feed a child; take emergency action when needed and monitor safe play.
5. Avoid danger while roasting chestnuts on an open fire.
Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the cooker.
6. Designate a driver or skip the holiday cheer.
Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drive impaired. If you plan on drinking, designate a driver who won’t drink.
7. When the weather outside is frightful, heat your home safely.
Never use your cooker or oven to heat your home. Never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended. Install smoke alarms and check them regularly.
8. Cut down on your heating bills without being a Grinch.
Get your chimney cleaned and boiler checked regularly. Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking the heat vents. Close off any rooms not in use and turn off the heat in those rooms. Turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater.
9. Heading home for the holidays? Travel safely.
Check the air pressure in your tires and make sure you have windscreen fluid. Be well rested and alert. Give your full attention to the road – avoid distractions such as mobile phones. If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
Thank you to our American Red Cross colleagues for the 12 days of safety inspiration