The holidays are here and for many that means celebrations, parties, and time with family. Although this time of year brings enjoyment for many, it unfortunately also brings an increase in accidents, injuries, and deaths – many of which are preventable. In fact, statistics and studies show that the winter holidays account for some of the highest rates of accidents in America:
- Crash data shows a significant spike in traffic accidents during the holidays, especially alcohol-involved auto accidents.
- Dangerous weather conditions during the holidays and an increase in holiday traffic often contribute to a rise in traffic accidents.
- Researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital have found that child injuries – many of which are caused by toys and children’s products – commonly occur during the holiday season.
Because the holiday season does pose risks for injury, it’s important for everyone to make safety a priority. At Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco, we’ve worked with many victims and families injured during this time of year, including numerous clients injured in common winter and holiday accidents. We hope to help others throughout Philadelphia and Pennsylvania stay safe this holiday season with the following safety tips.
Child Safety & Children’s Toys
According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, children’s toys send children to the hospital every three minutes in the U.S. This holiday season you can help keep your kids safe by always making sure toys are safe and properly used.
- Check to see if toys or children’s products have been recalled for safety issues. You can use online resources like the CPSC website (Consumer Product Safety Commission) to check for recently recalled products and toys.
- Do your research before buying children’s toys. Some toys may not be appropriate for some children or may pose certain risks and hazards. Make sure to read reviews and inspect toys yourself.
- Supervise children when they use toys, especially if it’s a new toy they don’t know how to use. Read directions and manufacturer guidelines and always follow age restrictions.
- The Nationwide Children’s Hospital study found that riding toys caused more child injuries than any other toy. Make sure your child wears proper safety equipment – including helmets – when using scooters, bikes, or tricycles. Also make sure they know how to use the toy safely.
Electrical & Fire Safety
Holiday lights and other seasonal traditions can pose risks in and around the home. Here are a few tips for minimizing these risks.
- December is the deadliest month for electrical fires. Make sure to always inspect strands for frayed wires or cracked bulbs. Use indoor and outdoor lights appropriately and monitor children near holiday lights.
- Use fireplaces, furnaces, and other heating equipment appropriately. Don’t leave them on unattended, open and clean chimneys before use, and make sure children are supervised.
- Don’t leave candles on when you’re not home. Also be sure any decorations, including stockings, are not near open candle flames.
- When cooking holiday meals, watch out for grease fires. Don’t use water to extinguish a grease fire – instead, using baking soda.
From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, auto accidents tend to increase. Protect yourself and your passengers with these tips:
- Alcohol-related auto accidents spike during the holiday season. Drive Sober! Drink responsibly, plan for a ride, designate a sober driver, and do whatever you can to keep the roadways free from impaired motorists.
- Winter roads can be very dangerous. Be prepared for these conditions by giving your car a winter checkup, including a check of your tires, headlights and tail lights, brakes, and windshield wipers.
- Be prepared for long tips if you plan on traveling during the holidays. Bring along blankets, water, and a cell phone in case of emergencies.
Our Philadelphia injury lawyers wish everyone a safe holiday season. In the event of a preventable accident, you can learn more about your rights by contacting our legal team!