We all become much busier during the holidays, so it’s easy for safety and health precautions to fall by the wayside. From trying to dodge Christmas-related stress to keeping our pets secure when the firecrackers start going off, keep these tips in mind for an ultra-safe holiday season.
1. Keep working out The holiday rush is no excuse to skip those workouts. Doing so can make your blood sugar levels spike, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri. Keep your blood sugar levels normal —- and avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain —- by sticking to a regular workout schedule.
2. Ease up on the alcohol Avoid going overboard on the wine served during reunions. If you do end up drinking more than you should, ask a sober friend or relative to take over the wheel. “My husband and I always make it a point to [pace our drink] and stick to just a glass or two of wine when we attend parties. This allows us to drive home safely,” says Christine Conde, a graphic artist and mom of two.
3. Avoid fire and injury hazards Ring in the New Year safely by keeping hazardous materials out of the way. Other ideas: • Keep the wires from Christmas lights off the floor to avoid having anyone trip on them. • Turn off and unplug all Christmas lights before going to bed. • Don't connect more than three strands of string lights to avoid overloading the voltage. Also, use a voltage regulator to regulate power flow. • Secure the Christmas tree (and other decorations) well so it won't topple. Also, don't place the tree near curtains or flammable materials. • Keep all ornaments child friendly and unbreakable. • Keep firecrackers out of the house and away from candles and match sticks to avoid accidentally setting them off.
4. Stick to harmless noisemakers Little kids can choke on and get poisoned by watusi and get injured by other firecrackers. “To celebrate the New Year, I just buy torotot for my kids. We also use their toy drums and tambourines to make noise instead of lighting firecrackers,” says mom-of-three Agatha Cruz.
5. Secure your home Going out of town? Keep your home safe from break-ins by updating all locks and asking a trusted relative or neighbor to check on your house while you are away. Unplug all sockets and check that faucets are shut tight. Don't forget to leave a house light on every time you step out at night.
6. Stay alert When out strolling with the kids, always pay attention to where your kids are, so that you do not lose sight of them in a crowded mall. Choose to go on a weekday or at the first hour when crowds are not as heavy. “Before we leave the house, I sit my kids down and give ground rules when we shop, such as 'Always hold Mommy or Daddy’s hand,' 'Don't talk to strangers,' and 'Always ask permission first from Mommy or Daddy if you want to go somewhere,'” says Agatha.
7. Keep pets away from fireworks Noise from fireworks can frighten your pets, so it's best to keep them safe inside your home when the pyrotechnics show starts. “During New Year’s Eve, we let our family dog stay in the den with the windows closed and the curtains drawn to keep him away from the noise, bright lights, and smoke. We also play with him in the den [to distract him],” says Jana Torres, banker, and mom to Ria, 7, and Angel, 5. Playing soothing music can also help keep your furry friend calm.
8. Build up the noise A few days prior to the celebrations, you can test-run your noisemakers and simulate a short party while your pets are within earshot. Doing this daily will help your pets get used to the noise.