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Avoiding Holiday Hazards

This is a wonderful time of year, but to keep the holidays truly happy Mosaic Insurance, your local independent insurance broker in Prescott, wants to remind you that it is important to make sure you don’t have to rush a loved one to the emergency room because of a holiday related injury. Here are some common holiday dangers that are often overlooked.

Christmas Tree Mold/Dust – Did you or your children start sniffling and sneezing about the time you brought that fresh cut tree into the house? Keep in mind that mold can grow on living trees in nature and that dust accumulates on artificial trees. You may find relief from allergic reactions to your tree by hosing it down and allowing it to dry before bringing it into the house. With live trees, you may want to avoid a tree that pollinates in November/December, like the Mountain Cedar.

Kids and Christmas Spirits – Unfortunately, alcohol poisoning is not uncommon during the holiday season. Children are curious by nature, and an adult beverage left unattended is a true temptation for young ones. Make sure those half empty glasses are disposed of properly.

Chocolates – As much as we all love chocolate, the one member of your family who should never eat chocolate is your dog. There is a compound in chocolate that is toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms from vomiting and diarrhea, to seizure, coma and even death. So while you’re baking, make sure that all of the ingredients, especially cocoa and chocolates, are kept up high where your dog can not get to them.

Snow – If you’re lucky enough to have snow for the holidays, it is important to keep the walkways clear of snow and ice to prevent slipping and falling. It’s also important to shovel snow properly so that you don’t hurt your back.

Packaging – A large percentage of emergency room visits are a result of trying to open difficult products packaging, like clam shells and shrink-wrapped goods. If you’re using scissors, make sure you cut away from yourself. And don’t let the frustration of getting through the packaging to the goodies take away the joy of the gift. Don’t participate in Wrap Rage!

High Strung Lights – Over 500,000 people a year are injured as a result of falling off of a ladder. If you’re putting up or taking down lights and have to use a ladder, make sure your ladder is level, don’t overreach and don’t try climbing the ladder with your hands full - this might be a good time to find a friend to lend a helping hand.

Kid Proof the Tree – The tree should be placed in a sturdy stand to avoid tipping. You may also want to consider putting it in a low traffic area to avoid there is less opportunity for brushing by the tree. Remember that real and/or artificial candy and popcorn is an invitation to kids to reach and take. Also remember if you have small children in the home, that small items are a potential choking hazard. And your fresh cut tree begins to dry out the minute it is cut, so after Christmas it should be removed from the house before it becomes a fire hazard.

Sparkly lights – Always inspect the lights before you hang them or put them on the tree. You should check for frayed wires, broken bulbs or sockets and loose connections. If any of these conditions exists, you should probably get rid of them and buy new lights to avoid electrical and fire hazards. And when you purchase your lights, make sure they are UL-certified, so you can be confident of their durability and safety.

Mosaic Insurance wishes each of you a safe and happy holiday. This is a good time to make sure all your new toys are covered. To review all your Prescott insurance needs, please give us a call at 928-458-7374.

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