A guest blog from Santa himself!
My job takes me to a lot of interesting places all around the world. From landing on icy rooftops and wriggling down chimneys to managing workshop elves and keeping the reindeer in check, sometimes my duties can be rather hazardous. Keeping that in mind, here are some tips to ensure I can deliver all the toys to the tots this Christmas:
Keep the Roads Free of Drunk Drivers
With more parties and days off from work, more drinking and driving occurs over the holidays. In fact, more highway deaths related to alcohol occur during the holidays than at other times of year. If holiday guests are partaking of alcohol, make sure there is plenty of food to absorb the impact of booze on partygoers and cut off the drinks toward the end of the evening. Santa says, “When the party is breaking up, encourage (insist) that anyone who has been drinking take an Uber and have the number of a cab handy. You may even need to be prepared to let your guests spend the night.”
Don’t Stress Your Pets
Extra humans in your home could put stress on your dog. Moments of fear could lead to aggressive behavior from your four-legged friend even if they have never shown signs of aggression in the past. Santa says, “Dogs can get scared or overreact when put in certain situations. Put your dog away, either in a back bedroom or crate. Otherwise, you are putting yourself at serious liability, not to mention the horrific humiliation of a guest being attacked in your home.”
Prevent Slips and Falls
Keep stairways well lit, and make sure there is a stable railing. If there’s carpet on the stairs, it needs to be tight with no protruding nails or tripping hazards. If little ones will be in attendance, put a gate at the top of the stairs. “Please make sure there is nothing around the house that I could trip over, such as lamp cords, unmarked steps or bunched-up rugs,” Santa says.
Practice Ladder Safety
Before using a ladder, check to make sure it’s the right height for the job and that it is placed on level, firm footing. Santa warns about trying to do all the decorating alone. “The older I get; my balance isn’t what it used to be. Even a minor fall can cause long-term damage,” Santa says. “It’s important to always have someone else there when you are decorating to help hold the ladder, hand you things or call for medical assistance if you do fall.”
Drive With Caution
As we get nearer to Christmas, people are rushing to make last-minute purchases and will be spending more time on the road. There may also be people in town who aren’t familiar with the roads or local traffic regulations. Then, there are the usual distractions like cellphones, GPS, the radio, and the kids in the car. All of this is compounded by drivers who get behind the wheel after over-imbibing at holiday office parties or family get-togethers.
Avoid a House Fire
“I don’t know how often I see people who have plugged too many lights and decorations into an outlet,” Santa says. Overloaded circuits can overheat and start a fire. It’s also important to remember to turn off holiday lights and decorations when you leave the house or go to bed. “The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the home if you don’t practice safe cooking behaviors like Mrs. Clause,” Santa says. Remember to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy. Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, or towels – away from your stovetop or an open flame.
Get Rid of Dangerous Toys
“While I try to make sure all gifts are safe and sound, parents should go online and look to see what the consumer reports are warning about dangerous toys,” Santa says. “You may not appreciate the danger before someone else points it out.” Parents should check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity. Also, don’t forget the helmet if you give the kids a new bike or scooter.
In the past, the holidays represented the peak of cold and flu season, but this year we’ve got bigger concerns because of COVID. Don’t forget to get your vaccine, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Family gatherings may need to be smaller this year, but ensuring the safety of loved ones is a gift that keeps on giving.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.