Holiday Safety Tips - Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season
Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest from late November to mid-January, when families gather, parties are scheduled, and travel spikes. While the holidays might look a little different this year due to the pandemic, smaller outdoor or indoor in-person gatherings are still possible if everyone agrees to maintain a safe distance, refrain from sharing objects, and only gather with people from the same local area or community.
The following is advice on ensuring your family remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.
Traveling for the Holidays? Be Prepared
While many will choose to stay home this year, if you do travel, be sure your vehicle is in good running condition, you have plenty of rest, and are prepared for any emergency. Traveling by car during the holidays has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. In 2020, it is estimated 163 people died on New Year's Day, 485 on Thanksgiving Day, and for Christmas Day 2019, it is estimated 115 lost their lives, according to Injury Facts. Alcohol impairment is involved in about a third of the fatalities.
Stay safe on the roads over the holidays and every day:
- Prepare your car for winter and keep an emergency preparedness kit with you
- Get a good night’s sleep before departing and avoid drowsy driving
- Leave early, planning ahead for heavy traffic
- Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance traveled
- Put that cell phone away; many distractions occur while driving, but cell phones are the main culprit
- Practice defensive driving
- Designate a sober driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription, and illegal drugs can cause impairment
Decorating is one of the best ways to get in a holiday mood, but emergency rooms see thousands of injuries involving holiday decorating every season.
When decorating follow these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Keep potentially poisonous plants – mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis – away from children
- If using an artificial tree, check that it is labeled “fire-resistant”
- If using a live tree, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, remember to water it and remove it from your home when it is dry
- Place your tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources, making certain not to block doorways
- Avoid placing breakable ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower tree branches where small children can reach them
- Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors, and choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights
- Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections
- Follow the package directions on the number of light sets that can be plugged into one socket
- Never nail, tack, or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow
- Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house
Watch Out for Fire-Starters
Candles and Fireplaces
The use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations in many homes during the holidays, means more risk for fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles and that two of every five decoration fires happen because the decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
- Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over and out of reach of children.
- Keep matches and lighters up high and out of reach for children in a locked cabinet.
- Use flameless, rather than light, candles near flammable objects.
- Don't burn trees, wreaths, or wrapping paper in the fireplace.
- Use a screen on the fireplace at all times when a fire is burning.
- Never leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended or when you are asleep.
- Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year.
Be alert to the dangers if you're thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 154 turkey-fryer-related fires, burns, or other injuries since 2004, with $5.2 million in property damage losses that have resulted from these incidents.
NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider using an oil-less turkey fryer. If you must fry your own turkey, follow all U.S. Fire Administration turkey fryer guidelines.
Food Poisoning Is No Joke
Keep your holidays happy by handling food safely. The foodsafety.gov website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some valuable holiday food safety tips:
- Wash your hands frequently when handling food
- Keep raw meat away from fresh produce
- Use separate cutting boards, plate and utensils for uncooked and cooked meats to avoid cross-contamination
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
- Refrigerate hot or cold leftover food within two hours of being served
- When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
- Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for three to four days when properly refrigerated
Watch this holiday food safety video for more information.
It's Better to Give Safely
Gifts and toys should inspire joy, not cause injuries. More than a quarter of a million children were seriously injured in toy-related incidents in 2017. Avoid safety hazards while gifting with these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Toys are age-rated for safety, not for children’s intellect and physical ability, so be sure to choose toys in the correct age range
- Choose toys for children under 3 that do not have small parts which could be choking hazards
- For children under 10, avoid toys that must be plugged into an electrical outlet
- Be cautious about toys that have button batteries or magnets, which can be harmful or fatal if swallowed
- When giving scooters and other riding toys, give the gift of appropriate safety gear, too; helmets should be worn at all times and they should be sized to fit
To find out about holiday toy safety and recalls, check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.
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Halloween Safety Tips
One of the most exciting times of the year for your kids is Halloween, and to help parents provide a safe experience, here are some Halloween safety tips:
CHECKING CANDY AND TREATS:
- Wait until children are home to sort and check treats.
- Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any of the following candies that have:
- An unusual appearance or discoloration
- Tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers
- Spoiled or unwrapped items
- Homemade items or baked goods should be discarded unless you personally know who gave them.
- When in doubt, throw it out
- Tell children not to accept -- and, especially, not to eat--anything that isn't commercially wrapped.
- Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies and small toys.
- Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
- Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking
- (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.
ALL DRESSED UP:
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
- Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as "one size fits all," or "no need to see an eye specialist," obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
- Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
CARVING A NICHE:
- Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
- Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.
HOME SAFE HOME:
- To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
- Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
- Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
- Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
- Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
- Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
- Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
- Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
- Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
- A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
- Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
- Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.
©2017 American Academy of Pediatrics
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Prudential Security Above and Beyond Award Mall Security Supervisor Jon Sitto
Pictured receiving the Prudential Security Above and Beyond Award is Mall Security Supervisor Jon Sitto. Left to right: Prudential Rep. Joe Todaro, Jon Sitto, Prudential Rep. Matt Keywell, and our valued client.
On July 7, 2020, Mr. Sitto responded to a distress call from a customer in the Mall parking lot, stating that they had observed a newborn infant locked inside a vehicle. Mr. Sitto immediately responded to the scene. Troy Police were called, but due to the extreme heat, Mr. Sitto decided to break the window to open the vehicle. Supervisor Sitto's professional and calm assessment of the immediate danger, and his quick reaction to extract the infant from the car, resulted in saving a young life. Prudential Security Management, Mall Management, and your peers are grateful for your quick actions. Congratulations on receiving this prestigious award, and Thank you for a job well done.
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Prudential Security Above and Beyond Award is Prudential Security Officer Michael Lopez
Pictured receiving the Prudential Security Above and Beyond Award is Prudential Security Officer Michael Lopez. On the right is Prudential Rep. Ray Borchard, and on the left is our valued client.
Today we recognize Site Supervisor Michael Lopez for going above and beyond his security responsibilities to assist an injured client employee. One of the client managers had an accident and endured a deep cut to the top of her foot. She didn't notice her injury until she saw blood pooling in her shoe. This manager happened to be in the lobby and asked Mike if she could have a Kleenex for her little cut. Mike quickly assessed the foot's damage as being more than "just a little cut," and he grabbed the first aid kit, cleaned the area, and wrapped it all up with gauze and a bandage wrap. The manager felt terrible that she had to bother Mike to assist with the "little cut" but was very appreciative. Mike went above and beyond to help her in her clumsiness (her words). Thank you, Mike, for your quick reaction and assessment of the injury. You definitely went above and beyond to ensure her safety.
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Prudential Security is Pleased to Announce Abe Al-Busaid Has Earned the Valor Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award For May, 2020
Since hiring Abe Al-Busaid this past January, things have drastically changed in our country with the onset of COVID-19. Abe has taken the security role he was originally tasked with, and morphed his responsibilities to not only execute and improve the security program for client property and personnel but has also taken on the extensive project of managing the new health screening procedures for all staff entering the client facility, all while ensuring they are meeting the recommendations of Oakland County. The extra time it takes to complete 200 health screenings a day has increased Abe’s workload. To ensure the security program reporting and communications are handled accurately and timely, Abe will leave the facility at the end of his scheduled shift, and continue his workday from home. Abe brings a level of professionalism to our client that has surpassed expectations for the security program. Abe’s willingness and attentiveness to detail and accuracy of the new health screening procedures and the security program responsibilities have shown us that Abe has a sense of duty, responsibility, and professionalism always to ensure the job gets done! Congratulations on going Above and Beyond Abe!
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Prudential Security Guard Gary Fowler and His Father Both Pass From COVID-19 Complications
Prudential security officer Gary Fowler and his father David pass from COVID-19 six hours apart after allegedly turned away by 3 hospitals
By: Rudy Harper
Posted at 10:38 PM, Apr 21, 2020, and last updated 3:08 AM, Apr 22, 2020
GROSSE POINT WOODS (WXYZ) — A metro Detroit family is reeling after two devastating losses six hours apart.
David Fowler, 76, and his son, Gary, 56, both died due to complications from the coronavirus, according to Gary's daughter Paris McCray.
McCray said her grandfather, David, died on April 6 and her father on April 7 in his Grosse Pointe Woods home.
"He was in his recliner... that's where we found his body," McCray said. She added that her mother was asleep in the bed next to the chair when he passed.
"My father was a great man," Ross Fowler said. "He was well-loved."
McCray claims three metro Detroit hospitals declined her father COVID-19 testing and treatment. Her grandfather never went to a hospital to be tested before dying.
"If (my father) could of gotten admitted to any hospital and gotten the proper treatment and proper care, he would still be here," McCray said.
Since then, she said three family members have tested positive for the new virus, including their mother, she was rushed back to the hospital on Tuesday due to complications from the virus.
McCray believes the system failed her father. They want others to avoid the heartbreak they've endured.
"Get [tested]! Because we couldn't, we were denied," McCray said.
7 Action News reached out to Beaumont, Detroit Receiving, and Henry Ford hospitals where McCray said they went to get her father help.
Read the full story and view the video here
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