Tips for a Happy, Healthy, and Safe Holiday Season

A dad with his two young children getting ready to hang holiday lights

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season brings us joy and merriment as we come together to celebrate with family and friends. But it also provides plenty of opportunity for mishaps and injuries while decking those halls and prepping for holiday gatherings. 

Holiday hazards can be found in the kitchen of harried home cooks, in bustling shopping center parking lots, and on the ladder in the front yard where you’re hanging the Christmas lights.

To keep the holiday cheer high and visits to the emergency room low, the South Shore Health’s Trauma Program Injury Prevention Team offers these tips for celebrating the season safely.

Safe travels:

  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your car
  • Avoid drowsy or distracted driving
  • Always buckle up
  • Plan ahead for traffic, parking, flight delays
  • Designate a sober driver
  • Slow down, it’s better to get there late than to not get there at all
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Avoid posting travel plans on social media


Man holding head in front of Christmas tree


Stay well throughout the season: 

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Manage your expectations; make every season new and special in its own way
  • Reach out if you feel lonely or isolated
  • Monitor your mood, practice mindfulness, focus on what makes you happy
  • Ask for help if overwhelmed
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make time for yourself


Decorate safely:

  • Keep poisonous holiday plants (mistletoe, holly, bulbs) out of reach of children and pets
  • Keep Christmas trees away from fireplaces and heat sources
  • Anchor Christmas trees to the ceiling or walls to ensure it stays upright
  • Never nail, tack, or stress wiring when hanging holiday lights
  • Keep electrical cords and plugs away from moisture
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and away from flammable materials
  • Keep hallways and walkways clear
  • Have a spotter to help when using a ladder


Safe at home for the holidays:

  • In case of a grease fire, turn off the heat source and cover the pan with a metal lid
  • Do not leave holiday lights plugged in when you leave the house or go to bed
  • Do not overload electrical outlets
  • Do not leave stoves unattended while cooking
  • Maintain working smoke alarms in your home; don’t forget to change the batteries


Dad helping son ride a bike


Gift giving safety:

  • Choose age-appropriate toys for children
  • Avoid choking hazards by not giving young children toys with small removable parts
  • Give children safety equipment (helmets) along with new bikes, scooters, or skateboards.


This blog was written by the South Shore Health Trauma Program Injury Prevention Team. Learn more about our Injury Prevention Program.