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The holidays are a joyful time to spend with family and friends, but a careless mistake could put a real damper on your festivities. Below is a summary of MedStar’s response volume Between December 10th and 28th 2022:


Here are safety tips for the 12 Days of Christmas to keep in mind this holiday season.

On the 1st day of Christmas – Plan road trips with safety in mind.

If your plans include driving, please be sure to use seat belts and, of course, no one should drink and drive. Drivers should be well rested and alert and give their full attention to the road – avoid distractions. Make frequent stops and for long trips, rotate drivers.

On the 2nd Day of Christmas – Be careful putting up and taking down decorations.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, during the holiday season, there is an average of around 160 decorating related injuries daily — half of those injuries are associated with falls. Over the past 2 years, MedStar crews responded to 5 calls resulting from falls while putting up or taking down Christmas decorations.

Use these precautions when putting up and taking down Christmas decorations.

  • Never use furniture as a ladder.
  • Follow the 1-to-4 rule for extension ladders: for every four feet the ladder rises, move the base out one foot from the structure.
  • Always keep three points of contact on the ladder: two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
  • Inspect the ladder for any damage prior to using it.


On the 3rd Day of Christmas – Pledge to not drink and drive.

Every year hundreds of people die in drunk driving accidents during the holiday season. If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver to get you and your loved ones home safe and sound, or consider using rideshare app.


On the 4th Day of Christmas – Properly secure the tree.

No one wants Santa to get squished by a fallen Christmas tree. Make sure your tree is properly secured with a strong stand that doesn’t lean. If you have a fresh tree, don’t whittle or taper the trunk to fit your stand; this makes the tree less stable.


On the 5th Day of Christmas – Use extra caution when shopping.

Extra precautions need to be taken when shopping during the holiday season. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep a close eye on your kiddos – Christmas displays in malls and shops can lure kids away from your immediate sight.
  • Be sure your kids are close, preferably holding your hand, when walking through crowded parking lots.
  • When navigating crowded parking lots, be on the lookout for small children running behind your car as you leave your space.


On the 6th Day of Christmas – Prevent accidental poisoning and choking.

The risk of poisoning also increases during the holiday period, resulting not only from common household items, but also carbon monoxide (CO).

  • Keep your children and pets away from dangerous plants.
    • Mistletoe, holly berries and Jerusalem cherries can be poisonous if consumed in large amounts.
  • Those small button batteries found in toys, remotes and the like, are VERY dangerous, if swallowed, so keep them away from children.
  • Tiny magnets are also dangerous if swallowed.
  • Avoid small or breakable ornaments on lower branches of the Christmas tree to prevent small children from getting hurt or choking.
  • If you are gifting toys, take a look at age guidance, especially toys for small children.
    • Toys with very small parts may become choking hazards.
  • Consider safety gear for gifts like bicycles and scooters.
  • Install safe and certified carbon monoxide detectors.


On the 7th Day of Christmas – Be safe in the kitchen.

Just a few simple tips to keep the kitchen safer during the holidays include:

  • Always have a cook in the kitchen.
  • Don’t leave stove burners or the oven unattended.
  • Follow safety measures if you are frying a turkey.
  • Occupy the kids away from the kitchen — too many hot appliances and dangerous utensils.
  • Keep prepared foods away from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
  • Cook food thoroughly, using a food thermometer to determine doneness.
  • Internal food temperature should be 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
  • Refrigerate food within two hours at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Ditch leftovers after 4 days.


On the 8th Day of Christmas – Travel safely and don’t overshare on social media.

Social media is a great way to share what you and your family are doing for the holidays. However, if you are leaving your home for an extended period, you may not want to put your plans or pictures on social media until after you return. You could be unintentionally inviting thieves to break into your house while you’re away.


On the 9th Day of Christmas – Know your limits.

MedStar crews responded to 488 chest pain and 703 falls. Holidays can be stressful, and people may be out and about who do not usually do so. Please use caution and know your limits to help prevent medical emergencies such as heart attacks and falls.


On the 10th Day of Christmas – Be kind!

Last Christmas holiday, we responded to 164 assaults and 38 shootings/stabbings. Getting together and celebrating with diverse family members can sometimes lead to conflicts. Tolerance and kindness will go a long way to preventing physical confrontations.


On the 11th Day of Christmas – Pledge to keep your pets safe.

Keep festive holiday plants including poinsettias, mistletoe and holly out of pets’ reach. Ingesting any of these may cause a range of symptoms, while usually mild, ranging from stomach upset to low blood pressure.


On the 12th Day of Christmas – Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors should be tested regularly, and the batteries replaced at least once or twice a year. Mark your calendar to check your detectors during the holidays.