2020 has definitely been a year we will never forgot! We’re all ready for this pandemic to be over with, so we can get back to normal. With Christmas around the corner, we need to keep safety in mind, not only as far as COVID-19 goes, but also general safety measures for this time of year.
Holiday Safety in a Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends gathering in person with members of your own household only and celebrating only virtually with those outside of your home.
If you do get together with others outside of your household, here are suggestions from the CDC:
The safest option for traveling is driving your own car.
Whether traveling by car or public transportation, wear a mask in all public settings.
Avoid close contact with anyone outside of your household by social distancing.
Keep hands clean by washing with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
Hosting or Attending a Gathering
Limit number of attendees as much as possible to allow for social distancing.
Gather outdoors, rather than indoors.
Require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
If you gather indoors, increase ventilation as much as possible, by opening windows and doors.
Limit contact with commonly touched items, such as serving utensils. A good suggestion is to have one person wear a mask and serve all the food; that way, the serving utensils are not being handled by multiple people.
Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces as often as possible.
“Plan ahead and ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their household for 14 days before the gathering.”
Everyone at the gathering should keep hands washed or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
Other Safety Measures for the Holidays
Travel: Prepare your car for winter weather. Have an emergency preparedness kit in the car with you. Avoid drowsy driving. Leave early, planning for heavy traffic. Do not use your cell phone while driving. Make sure you’re driving sober.
Decorating: Keep potentially poisonous plants away from children and pets. Make sure to keep water in a live Christmas tree. “Place your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources, making certain not to block doorways.”(NSC.org) Avoid putting breakable ornaments and ornaments with small parts on the lower branches within reach of small children. Use indoor lights indoors only, and outdoor lights outdoors only. Choose a safe ladder for hanging lights. Do not use lights that have broken sockets, frayed wires, or loose connections. Never nail or tack wires when hanging lights. Keep plugs off the ground, away from puddles and snow. Turn off all lights and decorations when retiring for bed, or when leaving the house.
Candles and Fireplaces: Place candles where they cannot be knocked or blown over, and out of the reach of children. Use flameless candles near flammable objects. Don’t burn wrapping paper, trees or wreaths in the fireplace. Always use a screen in front of the fireplace when burning a fire. Have your chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year.
Food Safety: Wash hands frequently when handling food. Keep raw meat away from fresh produce. “Use separate cutting boards, plate and utensils for uncooked and cook meats to avoid cross-contamination.” Refrigerate leftover food within two hours of being served. Use refrigerated leftovers withing three to four days.
Gift-Giving: Choose toys in the appropriate age range for safety. Select toys without small parts for children under the age of three. “Be cautious about toys that have button batteries or magnets, which can be harmful or fatal if swallowed.” When giving scooters or other riding toys, give safety gear (proper-fitting helmet, elbow and knee pads) as well.
For more toy safety and information on recalls, check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.
COVID-friendly holiday activities going on around South Carolina:
Upstate Holiday Lights at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway https://greenvillepickens.com/upstate-holiday-light-show/
Holiday Lights on the River (Columbia)
The Great Christmas Light Show (North Myrtle Beach)
Holiday Festival of Lights (James Island)
Christmas in Hopelands (Aiken)
THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD: HERE TO FIGHT FOR INJURY VICTIMS IN GEORGETOWN AND HORRY COUNTIES AND THROUGHOUT SOUTH CAROLINA
Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.
Other online resources used for this article: https://safer-america.com/holiday-safety-tips/