Seasonal Safety - BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit

Seasonal Safety

Home Safety

Although this holiday season will likely look different, we want to remind you of your risk of injury at home.

Burn and Scald Safety

  • Kids have thinner skin, so burns and scalds in babies and toddlers can be more severe than in adults.
  • If you’re having some hot chocolate or tea, make sure cords from electric kettles and hot mugs of liquid are not in a place where young kids can knock them over.
  • Candles can be nice, but remember not to place them near flammable objects such as wrapping paper or within the reach of children.
  • Fireplaces should have a gate or fence around it to keep kids away. Even glass on electric fireplaces can get hot!
  • A beautiful real tree smells nice, but it can dry out and cause a fire hazard, especially when placed near a cozy fireplace. Don’t forget to water it often.
  • Resource: Injury Insight: Burns in Young Children (PDF)

Decorating and Ladder Safety

  • When decorating a tree—frayed, cracked, or broken light strings or extension cords can cause a fire hazard.
  • Remember not to string LED and conventional light strings together, and don’t exceed 6 light strings to a single electrical outlet.
  • The tree should be secured firmly in the tree stand so it is not at risk of getting knocked over by your kids or pets.
  • Falls are a leading cause of injury and hospitalization in adults. Falls from ladders can lead to fractures or concussion—not a great way to start the holiday season!
  • Remember to use a safe and sturdy ladder to hang lights inside or outside the house.
    • Rest the ladder against a solid surface, or have a spotter at the bottom to hold the ladder for you.
    • Do not stand on the very top rung or platform of the ladder.
    • Instead of leaning over to hang that last light, climb down and move the ladder over. It might take a bit longer, but is safer.
  • Resource: Ladder Safety: Preventable and BC Hydro (PDF)

Choking Prevention and Toys

  • Inspect gifts to make sure they are age-appropriate.
  • Toys for young children should not have small pieces or parts that can be a choking hazard.
  • Stickers on packaging, ribbons and cords, or little batteries are dangerous. They can get stuck in the airway or esophagus.
  • A small child can choke on any object that can fit through a toilet paper tube.
  • Resource: Be Smart, Don’t Choke
  • Resource: Choking Prevention in Small Children: HealthLinkBC

Outdoor Safety:

During COVID-19, many have been participating in physical activity outdoors rather than indoors, such as snowshoeing, skiing, and ice skating. Active & Safe Central has some tips on how to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Other Resources: