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The City of Titusville, Florida / Fire & Emergency Services / NewsAvoid Emergency Room Visits This Holiday Season
The holidays are joyous and exciting days filled with family, fun and merriment. Titusville Fire and Emergency Services urges you to preserve the fun of the holidays by paying attention to a few safety precautions.
COMMON REASONS FOR HOLIDAY HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS
Food safety at a holiday get-together is a common cause of ED visits.
- According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 76 million cases of food poisoning occur annually in the United States. Although most cases are mild, about 325,000 people with food poisoning are hospitalized.
- It is more common to get food poisoning from foods that are improperly cleaned, prepared and stored in your home than any other reason.
- Refrigerate foods, especially those with meat or dairy products. Don't overcrowd the space in the refrigerator by ensuring there is sufficient air space around containers and make sure the temperature remains at least at 40 degrees.
- If food is offered buffet style and will remain out for several hours, make the extra effort to keep foods appropriately cool or warm by using heating trays, ice buckets, etc.
- Store leftovers properly and promptly and use quickly.
Holiday decorations are magical, but they can also be the cause for a hurried trip to the ED.
- That 7-foot Christmas tree is impressive to view, but make sure it is securely fastened to the wall or use other restraints. Being in the path of a falling tree can result in serious injuries to children and even adults.
- Use non-breakable ornaments. Annually, emergency department patients are children who have swallowed or have been cut by broken ornaments.
- If there will be young children about, put a barrier or fence around the Christmas tree to keep inquisitive little ones from being able to reach ornaments, tinsle or lights--all of which can pose serious safety risks.
- Keep those decorative plants out of reach. If rubbed on the skin or ingested, many can cause skin or digestive irritations.
- Adults are not immune to potential safety risks. Be cautious and safety conscious when using ladders and climbing about on roofs to hang decorations.
Family and being together are what make the holiday season so special and memorable. But, be aware of certain dangers that normally aren't anticipated when planning this type of get-together.
- When grandma and grandpa come to visit, make sure special care is taken to ensure any medications they take on a normal basis are locked or stored out of the reach of children. Even one dose of some adult drugs can be fatal to a child.
- One of the common causes of ED visits is too much alcohol. Don't drink and drive...don't drink and climb roofs...don't drink and climb ladders...don't drink with access to weapons of any kind...don't drink or allow children access to alcohol through open bottles, the remnants of drinks, etc. The best solution...DON'T DRINK!
- Domestic violence also peaks during the holidays, with alcohol use sometimes a contributing or triggering factor. If the potential for violence is present or escalating, remove children and adults from the danger. Call 9-1-1 for police assistance or call 1-800-96-ABUSE for advice. Remember that all Titusville fire stations and the police station are S.A.F.E. places for you and your children.
Titusville Fire and Emergency Services urges our citizens to stay safe and enjoy this holiday season.