Take Care this Holiday!
Make Christmas a time of joy and peace, not pain and heartache! Be aware of the following most common sources of injury to avoid time away from your family celebrations. The most common hazards are not lifechanging for most but can spoil what should be a time of recreation and enjoyment.
Consider the unusual things you will do this holiday season as they often result in a fall.
Climbing up to arrange decorations, cleaning a ceiling fan, cleaning out gutters, clearing summer cobwebs, removing insect nests and washing down walls. These activities are not frequent activities and so we can lose our thought process around how to do them safely.
According to the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health almost 5000 people are injured from falls each year; the most high profile recent injury was Molly Meldrum. Take care and note the following tips:
1. Use the most appropriate ladder or step for the task;
2. Work with someone who can assist and watch for risks and respond if needed;
3. Never mix working at heights with alcohol;
3. Do not rush, as rushing leads to overbalance and slips; and
4. Remove unnecessary distractions, such as mobile phones, dogs and toddlers.
It is also important to consider the risk of falls where children have received new toys. From Scooters, bikes and skateboards, to balls, slides and swings. Be aware that children need to start out slowly, to gain the skill and balance to use or operate their toys safely, otherwise a fall may result.
Avoid Cuts and Piercing
Christmas is a time of celebration, emotion and anxiety. It is also a time of trying to get things done before the “visitors turn up”.
From wrapping presents, to broken tree decorations, cooking and serving food. Sharp items and utensils account for almost 10% of all injuries at this time of year. Take care and note the following tips:
1. Have a plan around what you want to achieve well before Christmas Day. A plan will allow you to work at a usual pace without the stress that often overwhelms people, or leads to simple cuts due to rushing or distraction.
2. Use age appropriate decorations. If there are toddlers in the house maybe crystal or glass decorations are not the best choice.
3. Sharpen your knives and utensils as blunt tools usually lead to additional force being applied and incidents occurring.
Avoid Food Poisoning
Christmas often feels like one big meal. Space in the fridge is at a premium and food is often left uncovered, at the wrong temperature, or mixed with incompatible food.
In Australia almost 4 Million cases of food poisoning are reported and most of these are a direct result of poor food safety in the home. Take care and note the following tips:
1. Keep all your drinks in an esky. Drinks do not pose a food safety risk so free up space for food in the fridge.
2. Colour-code your cutting boards to avoid contamination. Only cut raw meat on red boards and all other food on yellow, blue or green boards.
3. Wash knives and put them away immediately after cutting meat. Unclean knives, which are left unattended, will often be picked up by others and used on incompatible food.
4. Cheese and meat boards are only good for up to 2 hours depending on the temperature. Only prepare enough for the meal and never put partly used platters away in the fridge for later.
5. Never reheat food more than once. Food which has been reheated once and exposed to the air is the perfect home for salmonella and E-Coli. Break left over food into single meal portions so you only heat only the portion you need.
6. Let people know what is in the food. Food allergens are real. From wheat, shellfish, peanuts and even mint or onion, make sure your visitors are aware of what is in the food so they can keep safe and enjoy the day.
Avoid Foreign Objects
Christmas is a time to give gifts. Many gifts include small parts and batteries that can be extremely harmful to children.
Take care and note the following tips:
1. Children should always be supervised when they receive new toys so they understand what the hazards are.
2. Make sure gifts are age appropriate and child appropriate. Not every child is aware of the risks even if they are within the age range on the box.
3. When children play in a group, remove the toys that are for the older children to ensure the younger children remain safe.
From all of us at Proven Safety Solutions we trust you had a healthy year despite the circumstances with COVID-19.
We look forward to a great year ahead!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us!
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