It is natural to get caught up in this busy time of the year, but we ask that you take a moment to look around and check that your family and home are safe during the holidays.

* * * The staff of CPR Instructor’s Network wishes everyone a safe and healthy holiday season * * *

Here are some tips to help ensure that everyone stays safe:

·          Keep small toys, gifts, and breakables out of reach of infants and toddlers. Children like to place small objects into their mouth which may cause choking and could be fatal. The same also applies to rubber balloons. Balloons may break and the small pieces are enticing for kids to chew on. These pieces are similar in texture to your skin and may also cause a child to choke.

·         Be aware that Christmas tree electrical cords may pose a tripping hazard if left on the floor. Keep these and any other electrical cords secure so that a child does not have the opportunity to pull on them.

·         Do not leave purses with medications in areas where they can be reached by children. Whether at home or just visiting friends, this is a common way for children to get access to medications.

·         Do not piggyback multiple extension cords. Known as an octopus, this is a common cause of electrical fires. Inspect all electrical cords for cracks in the protective sheathing. Worn electrical cords should not be used and need to be thrown out.

·         Be aware that candles pose a fire risk if not handled correctly, they may fall over and start a fire. Candles should also be placed away from the edge of tables so they cannot fall off if a child pulls on the tablecloth.

·         You may have visitors who have food allergies, especially nut allergies. You need to inform all guests with allergies to ask what is in the food before they enjoy it.

·         When decorating for the holidays, be aware that tinsel is a common cause of choking for infants, toddlers, and animals. Dogs and cats are especially fond of this holiday decoration.

·          Keep infants, toddlers, and animals away from Poinsettias. Even though it is not poisonous, eating poinsettia leaves may cause vomiting.

·         Holly and mistletoe are considered poisonous and should also be kept away from children. If ingested, contact Poison Control.

·          Check all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to be sure they are in working order.

·         When driving on snowy or icy roads, keep in mind that it takes longer for vehicles to stop. Reduce your speed on slippery roads and give yourself plenty of room to stop.

·         Don't let children hollow out snow banks and play in them. The snow can collapse, trap, and suffocate a child. The same applies to playing on snow banks by the roadside, children could fall in the path of traffic or snow plows.

·         When travelling this holiday season, remember to have a safety kit in your car. A first aid kit, booster cables, gloves and hats, non perishable snacks, blanket, and candles would be a great start to protecting yourself while travelling.

·         Keep all stairs in your home clear of toys and gifts.

·         Be nice, clear your ice. This not only helps pedestrians but also the emergency workers that may be responding to your home or work site.

·         Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed, or when you leave your home.

·         Please remember "Don't Drink and Drive", have a designated driver.

·         While cooking, try to use the rear burners, this will help to prevent clothing catching on the pots that could cause a spill or burn. Never leave cooking unattended on the stove, children are naturally curious and may injure or burn themselves.

·         Always have a first aid kit in your home. Be sure it is stocked and everyone knows where it is.

·          Always keep the draw strings for blinds and drapes high and out of reach of children. Children can have their necks become entangled and risk suffocation.

·         Have a very safe and happy holiday season.