5 Tips To Help Keep The Holidays The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

From decorating for the holidays and visiting family to preparing feasts and enjoying activities in the snow, this time of year provides seemingly unending choices for fun, family and fellowship. Unfortunately, the busyness and merriment of this time of year also means the potential for snowmanincreased injury from a variety of sources.

Let’s take a look at 5 main areas injuries often take place during the holidays as well as tips for keeping the season safe and joy-filled.

  1. Toys

Safety in play during the holidays begins with making sure toys are appropriate for a child’s age and ability as well as providing appropriate supervision. Start by checking age ranges on toys before purchasing. With younger kids, also be aware of the packaging for toys, making sure potential eye hazards are removed. Special care also needs taken with flying and projectile toys, including chemistry sets, airsoft and BB guns and rockets. Supervise older kids using projectile toys, and make sure they follow directions and wear goggles when operating these toys. Also remember to keep younger children and other spectators at a safe distance.

For more information on keeping kids safe during sports and play, check out these helpful articles: Airsoft Safety, Part 1 and Part 2 and The Top 5 Most Unlikely Holiday Safety Risks.

  1. Decorations

Most homes are filled with festive decorations this time of year. Be sure to check that breakable ornaments are out of the reach of young children and make sure branches on Christmas trees aren’t sticking out at a child’s eye-level. Other decorations posing potential injury threat include fireplaces, candles and electrical cords. Use common sense with each of these, making sure they won’t cause someone to trip and that they are safely avoidable. Another potential hazardous decoration is spray snow because the chemicals can easily harm eyes. Use caution when applying making sure to wear safety goggles when doing so.

  1. Food

For some, holiday food is the best part of the holiday season. And other than the extra calories, many don’t consider the potential safety hazard accompanying all that extra food. To begin, be aware of the safe handling and cooking processes needed for the food you’re preparing. From food allergies to food poisoning, being aware of the potential health hazards can help make sure everyone enjoys the festivities. Food safety also involves making sure an active kitchen is always supervised and that smoke alarms are in working order. Finally, keep children away from hot surfaces, and encourage everyone to wash hands frequently.

  1. Snow

If you live in or are traveling to an area with the potential for a white Christmas, you’re probably looking forward to sledding and snowball fights and possibly snowmobiling, skiing or snowboarding. If your holiday plans include these or other outdoor snow-related activities, make sure everyone’s gear includes sunglasses or goggles to protect eyes both from impact and from the sun. Also, keep in mind that the possibility for sunburn still exists in cold weather, and that its potential significantly increases with altitude. In addition to protecting eyes, protect the rest of your body by staying dry and dressing warmly with layers.

Check out these great articles related to safety in the snow: Links to articles on Cold Weather Safety, Great Goggles Make Snowmobiling Even More Enjoyable, and An Expert’s Guide to Skiing Sunglasses Lens Tints.

  1. Travel

Most people travel at least some over the holidays with many traveling significant distances. Keep in mind that weather makes road conditions vary significantly from one location to the next as well as at different times of day. Plus, there are the vision challenges often accompanying long drives. Vision can become blurry from fatigue, sunlight reflecting off snow makes seeing anything difficult, and just general fatigue can wreak havoc on anyone’s alertness. Tips for safe holiday travel include wearing the proper eyewear for the time of day, including always sunglasses during the day. Other options for reducing the chance of accidents caused by fatigue include resting frequently, keeping the car cool and sharing the driving. And tips on travel safety during the holidays would be incomplete without encouraging that a designated driver be chosen prior to indulging in any holiday drinking.

For more on the challenges of night driving, check out Shedding Some Light on Night Driving Challenges and Solutions, Part 1 and Part 2.

Following the simple tips above can help ensure this holiday season stays the most wonderful time of year.

Back Health & Safety

Back pain comes in second only to stress as a leading cause of sickness absences from work in Britain. In addition, 80% of the population suffers from back pain at some point in their lives.

In the United States, 1 million workers suffer from back pain yearly, accounting for 20% of all workplace absences and second only to the common cold.

While injuries and accidents do contribute to the problem, 85% of back pain in the workplace is actually related to incorrect posture, incorrect lifting techniques, excessive weight and lack of exercise.

Correct Posture

Back pain happens to both manual as well as sedentary workers. And much of the back pain for both groups is often caused by poor posture. Incorporate the following advice for helping correct and prevent back pain caused by incorrect posture.

  • Learn about ergonomics to ensure a healthy working environment.
  • Make sure chairs and work areas are adjusted to proper height for reducing back strain.
  • Take regular breaks to stretch stiff muscles.
  • Use proper sitting & standing techniques.
  • Wear proper shoes & use good posture when standing for long periods.

Correct Lifting Technique

back-painThe most common back injuries in the workplace are sprains, strains and herniated discs. While age does contribute, the problem largely stems from incorrect lifting technique. Employ the following tips to reduce back injury caused by improper lifting.

  • Ask for help with heavy objects.
  • Hold objects close to the body when lifting.
  • Avoid twisting when lifting and carrying heavy objects.
  • Use leg muscles to lift instead of back muscles.
  • Lift slowly, staying in control without jerking.

Healthy Lifestyles

While posture and correct lifting go a long way in preventing back pain, living a healthy lifestyle can go even further with regard to reducing and even eliminating time off work due not only to back pain but to other health issues as well. Consider the following healthy lifestyle tips for reducing back pain & increasing overall health and wellness.

  • Improve back flexibility and strength with stretching exercises.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Remember that a good night’s sleep allows for necessary repairs to your body.
  • Pay attention to warning signs and seek treatment immediately.
  • Quit smoking & control weight to increase blood flow and reduce strain.

Additional Resources

While back pain may be a leading cause of workplace absences, there’s no shortage of solutions for reducing these absences. Use the above tips as a starting point for improved back health, and continue educating yourself by reading some of the abundance of information available for back healthy and safety in the workplace. The following list of articles will help educate you on back health & safety in the workplace.

Safety Accessories: 7 Products You Didn’t Know You Needed

Eyewear AccessoriesOne reason people fail to wear safety gear is because of some seemingly unresolved problems encountered when wearing them. Another reason is accessibility. Fortunately, safety accessories can help resolve some of these issues.

Consider the following 6 safety eyewear accessories and the solutions they provide:

  1. Cases & Pouches: Cases & pouches keep eyewear safe and secure when not being worn. Many even double as a cleaning cloth. Some cases, such as the Wiley-X TS-235 Hard Case, provide additional room for storage of extra lenses and other needed items. When eyewear stays in good working condition, it is much more likely to be worn. Also, having all your eyewear gear close at hand makes wearing the appropriate gear much more likely.
  2. Eyewear Dispensers:  About 90% of eye injuries could be prevented by wearing proper safety eyewear. Not exactly an accessory, but close enough, an eyewear dispenser makes eyewear accessible which makes wearing it much more likely. Keeping the dispenser in convenient locations both at home and in the workplace makes it an essential accessory.
  3. Lens Cleaning/Defogging Products: A clean lens is a safe lens. So, keeping lenses clear of smudges and fog by using products such as Super Strength Anti-Fog Spray and Opti Magic Optical Cleaner and Polish can make sure lenses provide the best vision possible.
  4. Neck Cords: While sometimes making a fashion statement, the more practical purpose of neck cords is to help protect and conveniently store your eyewear. When eyewear is within reach, it’s more likely to be worn. Additionally, cords add convenience when glasses must be taken on and off frequently.
  5. Sideshields: Safety shields come in a variety of styles from temporary ones that protect from light particles and droplets but are not rated for impact protection to those that auto-adjust for fit, provide impact protection and provide UV protection. Adding sideshields to current safety eyewear can significantly increase eye protection in a simple, easy and effective way.
  6. LED Lights: LED lights that fasten onto safety eyewear can free up your hands not only making you better able to do your work but able to do it more safely because you’re not also struggling to hold a flashlight. LED safety lights come in a variety of options, allowing them to fit virtually every type of eyewear. Some even fasten to safety helmets!

While not exactly an accessory, let’s look at one more add-on that can provide another way to help keeps eyes safe and healthy, emergency eyewash.

A big cause of permanent eye damage comes from chemicals splashing into the eyes, both at home and in the workplace. Having an emergency eyewash station can save valuable time, especially when you consider that eyes stand a much greater chance of recovery from chemical splash when flushed immediately after exposure.

The first line of safety to protect eyes lies with consistently wearing safety eyewear. Adding some of the above accessories can go a long way in increasing the effectiveness of that safety eyewear.