How Floridians Can Stay Safe This Holiday Season

How Floridians Can Stay Safe This Holiday Season


We always have high expectations for holidays. After all, they are some of the most fun times of the year. But all the fun makes getting injured or sick during this time of year especially disappointing.


Don’t miss out on the holiday fun or have to remember your 2021 holiday as the time you burnt your house down. Keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.



Like Fried Turkey? Have Dinner Out.
It’s stressful enough to make a Thanksgiving turkey in the oven, but frying it can be downright dangerous. If you want to fry your turkey this year, it’s best to leave it to a restaurant or professional chefs.


Using turkey fryers is discouraged by the National Safety Council due to their high risk of fire, burns, and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you must use a turkey fryer, you are encouraged to use it outside, away from your home, and with a fire extinguisher handy.



Eat Leftovers Quickly.

One of the best parts about Thanksgiving is the amount of leftovers: turkey sandwiches for days! But make sure your food is properly handled so you do not get food poisoning or another foodborne illness.


Your turkey should be cut into small pieces – not only is this more convenient when you’re making a quick leftover lunch, it helps to chill the turkey faster in the refrigerator. Any gravy or liquid leftovers should be boiled when you reheat them. And, of course, all leftovers should be consumed within four days of your Thanksgiving dinner.



Check Your Fire Alarms.

Candles and roaring fires in your fireplace are great for setting the holiday mood, but they also put you at risk for a house fire. Check your fire alarm batteries to make sure that your family will be notified in case of a fire. Keep your tree away from open flames, and be careful of the items that you allow around and in the fireplace.


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Stay Away From Hazardous Toys.

Last year, one of the hottest Christmas gifts was a hoverboard. But the gadgets were so hot, they started to catch on fire. Hoverboards were recalled and deemed unsafe quickly after the 2015 holiday season due to their lithium ion batteries, which had a tendency to explode while charging.


Before you buy the gifts on your loved ones’ holiday lists, check to see if any of the products are potentially hazardous. For younger children, be sure to check the product’s age recommendations. For example, toys with small or removable pieces may not be appropriate for younger children who could choke on them. Any product that has been recalled (you can check online) should also be avoided if the issue has not been resolved.



Get a Taxi or Rideshare.

Holiday weekends are a great time to get together and have big meals… with lots of drinks. Unfortunately, holiday weekends are also a big time for auto accidents and fatalities. Also remember that DUI causes up to one-third of all traffic deaths. If you are traveling during Thanksgiving or other holiday weekends, be sure to get a rideshare or choose a designated driver before you reach your destination.


Even if you take every precaution, accidents still happen. If you are injured during the holidays due to someone else’s negligence, make sure you get in contact with a Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.


Halloween Dangers and How Florida Parents Can Help Keep Kids Safe

Halloween Dangers and How Florida Parents Can Help Keep Kids Safe


It’s hard to believe that Halloween is already upon us. Children of all ages look forward to Halloween all year, and sometimes parents may even join in on the fun. However, Halloween fun also comes with particular hazards that parents need to watch out for to ensure that their kids stay safe.


A lot of people jump immediately to tampered candy when they think of Halloween danger. Your parents no doubt inspected your trick-or-treating loot before you were allowed to dig in, and you likely do the same for your kids. However, studies have shown that candy tampering is very rare, and in fact a 30-year study failed to identify a single loss of life from tampered candy.


The real hazards on Halloween stem from specific activities, costumes, and decorations. Read on to learn how to avoid these common Halloween dangers and keep your kids safe.


Trips and falls


Slips, trips, and falls are very common on Halloween, and can result in serious injury. What causes them?


Long, trailing costumes can make children fall during trick-or-treating or other Halloween events. It is also very common to wear ill-fitting shoes or high heels with a costume, which can increase the risk of trips and falls as well. To avoid costume-related trips and falls, make sure that your child’s clothes do not drag on the ground, and that he or she wears proper footwear.


If you’ll be trick-or-treating after dark, a flashlight can also reduce the risk of tripping over objects in the dark.


To prevent trick-or-treaters or partygoers from tripping and falling on your property, make sure that your walkway is well-lit, and clear away any debris. Also make sure that any decorations are kept clear of your walkway.


Fires and burns


When we think of Halloween, the smell of candles burning inside jack-o-lanterns may come to mind. However, these and other candle decorations present a fire hazard. Kids can also be burned by candles, particularly if wearing a long, flowing costume that catches fire.


To prevent these accidents entirely, use battery-operated candles or glow-sticks instead. If you do use a candle, exercise caution by lighting the candle once it’s inside your jack-o-lantern and keeping it well away from trick-or-treaters and small children.


To keep your kids from sustaining burns from others’ decorations, avoid long, flowing costumes, and make sure that costumes are flame-retardant. Also make sure that kids know how to stop, drop, and roll in the event that their clothes do catch fire.


Pedestrian hazards


Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for kids in the US, and kids are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year. Unsurprisingly, most of these accidents occur during trick-or-treating.


To keep your kids safe, add reflective tape to costumes and treat baskets and give them flashlights so that they’re more visible to passing cars, and teach them appropriate pedestrian safety practices. It may also be advisable to trick-or-treat in neighborhoods with sidewalks. Because drunk driving is unfortunately very common on Halloween, it’s also wise to head home early in the evening.


Halloween Child Choking Hazards


Choking hazards


Small, detachable parts on costumes may present choking hazards to very young children, as can many kinds of candy. For toddlers and very young children, be sure to avoid hard candies. Chewy candies such as taffy, gummy candy and caramel can also present choking hazards, so small children should also be closely supervised when eating these candies.


It’s also a good idea to wait until you’ve returned home and checked through all of your kids’ trick-or-treating loot before allowing them to dig in. This can help you identify candies that could be a choking hazard. Moreover, kids are more likely to choke on candy while they’re on the move and distracted by trick-or-treating.


Food allergies


If your child suffers from food allergies, Halloween can be a difficult time, as many well-meaning adults will hand out allergen-containing foods to kids during trick-or-treating or other Halloween events.


If your child has a food allergy, be sure to inspect all trick-or-treating candy before your child indulges. If your child has severe food allergies, you may need to replace trick-or-treating candy with purchased candy, as even eating food that has been in contact with allergens can cause a reaction in severely allergic children.


Trick-or-Treating Child Safety Tips


If your child is allergic and will be attending any Halloween parties or events, make sure that the organizers are aware of his or her allergy, and can provide alternatives to any allergen-containing foods that may be handed out.


Holidays such as Halloween are fun for the whole family, but unfortunately can cause an uptick of child injuries. Following these safety tips can help protect your kids, and make sure that the fun isn’t spoiled.



What Florida Parents Can Do to Keep Their Kids Safe over the HolidaysWhat Florida Parents Can Do to Keep Their Kids Safe over the Holidays

What Florida Parents Can Do to Keep Their Kids Safe over the Holidays

What Florida Parents Can Do to Keep Their Kids Safe over the HolidaysWhat Florida Parents Can Do to Keep Their Kids Safe over the Holidays

No one wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room, but every year about 500,000 US families are forced to do just that because of child injuries.

Unfortunately, child accidents become much more common over the holidays, putting a damper on the season for Florida families, and potentially leading to serious – or even fatal – child injuries.

Why is that, and what can Florida parents to do keep kids safe?

Below, we’ve provided a guide that covers common causes of holiday accidents, and what parents can do to prevent them.

Everyday Mishaps Cause Most Florida Holiday Injuries

Statistics clearly show that more children are injured over the holidays. Interestingly, though, most injuries do not occur due to activities or objects unique to the holidays. Instead, the holidays lead to a dramatic uptick into everyday injuries such as scrapes, trips and falls.


The holiday environment is exciting for children, meaning that kids may not pay as much attention or be as careful as they otherwise would. Similarly, parental supervision is sometimes compromised during holiday events, as parents are often preoccupied by visiting with other guests.

Before the holidays begin, take some time to talk to your kids about safety guidelines, including any that are unique to specific events you’re attending. Also, always be sure to keep an eye on kids during holiday events.

Help Florida Kids Celebrate Safely

Child injuries are common at holiday parties and other festivities, but you can help make holiday events a safe place for kids by following these guidelines:

  • Designate an adult to watch the children. Consider hiring a babysitter for the evening. If the party is in your home, you can hire the babysitter to supervise child guests, allowing everyone to enjoy the party.
  • Make sure that guests safely dispose of dangerous objects such as cigarette butts, toothpicks, and beverage cans and bottles.
  • Holly and mistletoe are poisonous. Keep them out of the reach of small children.
  • In fact, hang decorations out of the reach of children in general.
  • Do not use flame-burning candles.
  • Keep guests’ coats and purses out of the reach of children. They may contain hazardous items such as prescription medication or choking hazards.

How Florida Parents Can Avoid Toy Injuries

Although product safety has dramatically improved over the years, toys still can and do cause injuries to children. It’s not enough to scour recall lists, either. Although defective products are responsible for some injuries, improper use causes most toy injuries.

In order to avoid toy injuries, we recommend the following guidelines:

Magnetic toys: If children swallow high-powered magnets, it can result in a life-threatening intestinal injury. Avoid high-powered magnet sets that do not meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.

Balloons: Children may choke or suffocate on deflated or popped balloons. Keep deflated balloons out of the reach of children, and dispose of broken balloons immediately.

Small toy parts: Small toy parts are a choking and ingestion hazard for young children. Avoid toys with small parts for children under three, and always follow toy age guidelines.

Riding or moving toys: These toys are inherently dangerous, as children can fall off and crash. If you’re considering gifting these items to a child other than your own, be sure to ask the parents’ permission first. Also, include proper safety gear as a part of the gift.

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Ultimately, what you need to remember is that while the holidays are a great time for children, they do carry an increased risk of child injuries. For Florida parents to keep their kids safe, they need to use careful supervision and take safety precautions ahead of time.


About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


The Relationship between Florida Electrical Injuries and the Holidays

The Relationship between Florida Electrical Injuries and the Holidays

The Relationship between Florida Electrical Injuries and the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner, and many Floridians are looking forward to getting into the holiday spirit with colorful decorations and fun family activities. However, the holidays also carry an increased risk of many kinds of injuries.

On their own, holiday decorations are responsible for about 15,000 injuries annually. You probably know to avoid doing things like standing on chairs or desks to hang decorations, because this could lead to a slip and fall injury.

What you might not know, though, is that 5,000 of those holiday decoration injuries are due to electric shock. Light-up decorations may be damaged in storage, and many DIY holiday displays are a tangled mess of extension cords.

Below, we provide a guide on how to stay safe while enjoying the holiday season, discuss common types of electrical accidents and injuries and how to prevent them, and what to do in the event of an electrical accident or injury.

Florida Electrical Accidents and Injuries: What to Watch for This Season

Electrical and Christmas Tree Fires. Electrical fires caused by faulty wiring in holiday decorations are common, and electrical fires are the fourth leading cause of house fires in the US. Christmas tree fires, which are common when non-LED lights are used on natural trees, are substantially more injurious than other fires. These fires result in twice the injuries and five times the fatalities when compared to other housefires during the winter holiday season.

Electric Shock Injuries. About 5,000 people are treated annually for electric shock related to holiday decorations. Electric shock can lead to cardiac arrest, thermal burns, and muscle, nerve, and tissue damage. These injuries can be caused by frayed wires in decorations or extension cords, the use of electrical lights on metallic Christmas trees, and improper safety practices.

How to Prevent Electrical Accidents and Injuries This Holiday Season in Florida

Fortunately, electrical fires and injuries are largely preventable by taking appropriate safety precautions and making sure decorations, extension cords, and other electrical equipment is in good working order.

The following tips can help prevent electrical mishaps:

  • Check electric decorations, light strands, and extension cords for frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections. If decorations or extension cords are damaged, discard them. Never used damaged electric decorations.
  • Do not use metallic fixtures, for example staples, tacks, or nails, to hang electric decorations.
  • Do not connect any more than three strands of lights to an extension cord.
  • Never plug a power strip into another power strip, which could overload the electrical socket.
  • Use LED lights, which require less electricity and give off less heat, so are less likely to cause a fire.
  • Do not use electric lights on a metallic tree.
  • Only hang electric decorations in dry areas, and do not touch wiring if you are wet or standing in water.

What Floridians Should Do If an Electrical Accident Occurs

In the event of an electrical accident or injury, remain as calm as possible so that you can react appropriately and avoid further injury or damage.

Call 911 immediately for even a small electrical fire. Attempting to put it out yourself with water will only make the fire worse, and it could lead to severe burns or electrocution.

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If you have a fire extinguisher specifically for electrical fires, you may use it to extinguish a small fire. However, do not attempt to use another kind of fire extinguisher, which may also make the fire worse.

If someone incurs an electric shock injury, check for injuries and symptoms such as cardiac arrest, burns, loss of consciousness, and difficulty breathing. Before touching an electric shock victim, be sure to unplug all electrical wiring and turn off anything that may cause electric shock – the human body conducts electricity, so you could also be shocked.

The holidays are a very special time of year, but they are also associated with increased risk of injuries. Taking the appropriate safety precautions can ensure your family enjoys a safe and happy holiday season. Happy Holidays!


About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.