Can you hear the holiday bells ringing?

Invitations to family and friends? Check. Planning of the menu? Check. All-round uber excitement? Check. It’s almost time to braai everyday while easing into 2020 with good vibes. Such a fun time to enjoy with family and friends, right?

However, it’s important to take some basic precautions to ensure that your family remains safe and injury free throughout the holidays. Nothing puts a damper on Christmas cheer like a trip to the ER!

So, as you unwind and the countdown to Christmas begins, we have a few easy reminders for keeping safety at the top of your to-do list:

  • Be vigilant. Criminal activity increases during the holidays. Whatever home security system you have, use it diligently. Test the zones of your alarm system and check your electric fence. Keep security doors locked during the day and be mindful of what you post on social media, no one needs to know you can’t wait to go on an awesome holiday. Also, don’t leave empty boxes from cool new gadgets out for everyone to see.
  • Decorate safely. Make sure to use a ladder (instead of climbing on furniture) to hang the star at the top of the tree. Before you string lights on your tree, make sure there aren’t any frayed cords or cracked bulbs. Don’t use indoor lights outside and vice versa, and remember to turn off all lights and decorations before going to bed.
  • Be careful with candles. Candles can truly set the mood, but lit flames and Christmas decorations don’t exactly mix. Keep candles where they can’t get knocked down and never leave them unattended. Battery operated candles are great!
  • Use the pool net. It may be tempting to dive into a magazine or cocktail while you’re sitting poolside, but if you have young kids, never take your eyes off them. Drowning is the second largest cause of death among children in South Africa. Remember the sunscreen!
  • Handle and prepare food safely. Food poisoning is no joke. Wash your hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross contamination by keeping raw meat away from fresh produce. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
  • Buy age appropriate gifts. Gifts and toys should inspire joy, not cause injuries. Toys are age-rated for safety, not for children’s intellect and ability. When giving scooters or bikes, give the gift of appropriate safety gear too.
  • Make sure that your braai area is away from heavy traffic. Monitor the flames to avoid sudden bursts of flames due to grease or too much lighter fluid. Also, if you plan on deep frying remember not to use water to extinguish a grease fire – instead douse it with baking soda.
  • Keep pets safe. The all-time favourite Christmas flower, the poinsettia, are toxic to cats and dogs when ingested. Keep pets (and kids) away from fireworks.
  • Stay healthy, hydrated and keep exercising. Crank up the holiday tunes as you show off your moves.
  • Manage stress. Keep your commitments and spending in check and make sure to get enough sleep.

Have a safe and happy festive season!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.