With the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reporting 250 daily injuries during the holiday season, accident prevention is paramount for families. This step-by-step guide can help you to maximize the chances you and your family will be able to get through the holidays safely.
To prevent accidents during the holiday season, follow these steps:
- Identify the biggest risk factors for your family. Primary causes of injuries during the holiday season include auto accidents (travel risks during the winter holidays are high); injuries due to defective products (where there's a gift, there could be a hazard and a recall) and injuries resulting from holiday decorations (decorations can be a choking hazard, can easily ignite, and can be the source of slip and fall accidents).
- Talk with your children about how to stay safe. If you have teenagers, be cautious about who they are driving with as the days surrounding the holidays carry high potential for automobile accidents, especially for inexperienced drivers. Other drivers, as well as inclement weather, pose a sincere risk to the lives of drivers and passengers. Always make sure the proper tires are installed on the vehicle in use, as well as keeping them properly inflated. Even then, counsel young drivers on the dangers of speeding, as tires alone won't prevent an accident on icy roads. You should also discuss where your teens will spend New Year's Eve, as this is one of the biggest drinking days of the year. You want to make sure your child really understands the risks of underage driving under the influence, and the importance of arranging a safe ride home. The CDC has useful tips on talking to teens about winter driving safety.
- Supervise young children. When a child receives a new toy as a present, they've also received a potential health hazard with a bow on top. A toy may seem safe, but a child can figure out how to break a small piece off to create a choking hazard. You want to be cautious about suggested age ranges for toys and be certain to always watch your kids when they play with their gifts.
- Monitor for product recalls: There are many situations where products end up having to be recalled due to various hazards, and fatalities are not unheard of. In 2015, 11 children under the age of 15 died due to defective products. When purchasing items during the holidays, you take the risk that some of those items could end up being dangerous. Be sure to check the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to find out about potential recalls regarding products that come into your home during the holidays.
Unfortunately, even when you do everything you can to prevent holiday accidents, tragedies can still occur due to unpredictable circumstances. The roads may not always be safe, a toy may not be without hazard-the holidays are no time to shirk caution. If a holiday injury due to another party's reckless driving or product defect affects your family, you need to understand who can be held accountable and what your rights are in responding to the damage.