Health Info & Resources for Seniors
Putting up decorations is one of the best ways to get in a holiday mood, but they can be hazardous. “Angel hair,” made from spun glass, can irritate your eyes and skin; always wear gloves or substitute non-flammable cotton. Spraying artificial snow can irritate your lungs if inhaled; follow directions carefully. Decorate the tree with your kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top.
Always use the proper step ladder; don’t stand on chairs or other furniture
Lights are among the best parts of holiday decorating; make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets
Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous (including some Poinsettias) out of reach of children or pets; the national Poison Control Center can be reached at (800) 222-1222
Make sure paths are clear so no one trips on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.; NSC provides tips for older adults on slip, trip and fall protection
Watch Out for those Fire-starters:
Candles and Fireplaces
Increased use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means more risk for fire.
Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle
Keep candles out of reach of children
Make sure candles are on stable surfaces
Don’t burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
Don’t burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year
Don’t Give the Gift of Food Poisoning
Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking
Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
Refrigerate food within two hours
Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
Wash your hands frequently when handling food
While many subscribe to the theory any fried food is good – even if it’s not necessarily good for you – there is reason to be on alert if you’re thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002. CPSC says 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.
NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer. But for those who don’t heed that advice, please follow these precautions:
Set up the fryer more than 10 feet from the house and keep children away
Find flat ground; the oil must be even and steady to ensure safety
Use a thawed and dry turkey; any water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over
Fryer lid and handle can become very hot and cause burns
Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times