Minnesota Safety Council: Take a Moment for Safety this Holiday Season

ST. PAUL, MN - Is safety on your holiday list? It could be the best gift you give – or receive – this year. Safety experts warn that along with the bustle and the beauties of the season, the holidays bring an increased risk of injury.

"During the holidays, slow down on the road and give yourself a little more room to stop your car or avoid a crash," said Paul Aasen, president of the Minnesota Safety Council. "Take a moment to make your home safe for guests, young and old, and give yourself time to be safe while you enjoy the season with your family and loved ones."

Common holiday-related risks include falls, fires, traffic crashes and poisoning, according to Erin Petersen, coordinator of Safe Kids Minnesota, which is led by the safety council.

"All of us can take simple steps to protect ourselves and the ones we love," Petersen said. "Most of these injuries can be prevented."

The Minnesota Safety Council and Safe Kids Minnesota recommend:

Behind the wheel:
  • Buckle up, and plan ahead for a designated driver when you’re going to a party.
  • Put away the phone, put down the food, the makeup, the book — keep eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving.
  • Be extra cautious in holiday-packed parking lots.
  • Slow down and increase following distance, especially if the road is slick or icy.
At home:
  • Install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Place candles away from anything that can burn. Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Take extra care on ladders; keep steps and walkways clear and clutter-free, inside and out.
For the kids:
  • Store all medications (including those that guests may bring into the home), vitamins, cleaning solutions and liquid laundry packets out of reach and out of sight of children.
  • Check recommended age levels when choosing toys; keep small parts and other choking hazards away from small children.
  • Be sure to include a helmet with bikes, scooters and other riding toys.
Unintentional injuries such as falls, traffic crashes, and poisoning are a leading cause of death in Minnesota.

Note to editor: See www.minnesotasafetycouncil.org/holidaysafety/ for more information.

The Minnesota Safety Council is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing injuries on the road, at work, at home, and in the community. For more information, see www.minnesotasafetycouncil.org.

Safe Kids Minnesota works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death for children and teens. It is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Minnesota was founded in 1988 and is led by the Minnesota Safety Council. Find more information at www.minnesotasafetycouncil.or/safekids.

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