The holidays are here. This is always a busy time of year, with parties, shopping and the numerous obligations we all have to friends and family. At such a hectic time it is especially important to keep safety – particularly child safety – in mind.
Regular readers will know that I have long been an enthusiastic supporter of SafeKids and the work it does here in Oregon and around the world. The organization has published a very useful guide to holiday safety (see link below), and I urge everyone to take a few minutes to look at it.
Few of the items on the SafeKids list are unique to the holiday season. The list focuses on things like ensuring that smaller children are in proper infant or booster seats and bigger kids are wearing their seat belts, remaining vigilant at all times when behind the wheel and, at home, placing hot foods on the stovetop’s rear burners to prevent spills caused by children reaching out.
But there are a number of other items that deserve special attention at this time of year, and which bear repeating. SafeKids reminds parents to “move the ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top of the tree,” and to check holiday lights for exposed or frayed wires.
The group also warns parents to: “remind your inexperienced teen driver to be extra alert during the holidays when people are more distracted and weather can be tricky.” (which actually sounds like pretty good advice for older drivers as well). There is also, of course, the increased risk of drunk driving that all of us face on the roads at this time of year as people travel home from holiday parties.
As a Portland attorney whose practice focuses on injuries to children, helping drunk driving victims obtain justice and holding companies accountable when their reckless or negligent behavior causes injuries I encourage everyone to take a moment to look over the SafeKids ‘Holiday Safety Tips’ page. It includes a great deal of common-sense advice, and highlights several things that even the most diligent parent may not have thought of. Have a safe and happy holiday season!