By Dr. Wally Ghurabi
‘Tis the season to be jolly, so don’t let an unexpected injury or illness spoil your family’s holiday celebrations. Many of the holiday accidents and illnesses we treat in the Nethercutt Emergency Center at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica could have been prevented by simple, commonsense precautions.
Here are some holiday pointers to help ensure a safe and healthy Yuletide season:
• Keep holiday plants, such as holly and poinsettias, out of reach of small children and pets. Many parts of these and other household plants can be harmful if ingested.
• Use shatterproof ornaments to decorate trees.
• Make sure tree and house lights are grounded to reduce the risk of electrical shock or fire.
• Have your tree fireproofed and place it a safe distance from your fireplace, wall heater, and air vents.
• Trim any branches that toddlers might pull or trip on, causing the tree to tumble over on them or others.
• Keep a fire extinguisher and first-aid kit in your home at all times.
• Consider safety in all gifts for small children and inspect toys for removable parts or unsafe features.
• Eat and drink in moderation. Overindulgence can lead to gastrointestinal problems and other unhealthful consequences.
• Don’t drink and drive. The combination can be deadly.
Best wishes for a healthy, happy holiday season from your emergency professionals at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. We’re here 24-7 if you need us.
Dr. Wally Ghurabi is medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. For more information, call 424.259.8405.