COVID Complicates Holiday Gatherings Risks this Season

chrsitmassafety-300x225Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving and a joyous start to the year-end holidays.

We recently wrote about parking lot injury risks as holiday shoppers return to local malls and box stores. But the reality is the holiday travel season is full of year-end risks that can often be mitigated with planning, some forethought, and a focus on safety.

Holiday Injury Risks to Children

Your safety focus should start with the kids in your life. Kids are most at risk of an injurious accident and are best kept safe by the keen planning and supervision of a caring adult. Injury risks include:

Swimming pool accidents: These are tragic cases. We recently highlighted the need to remain vigilant around swimming pools, particularly among children and invited guests.

Dog Bites: This is another holiday concern. Many have gotten a pet during COVID quarantine. In other cases, holiday visitors and commotion may upset a usually friendly animal. More than 4.5 million dog-bite injuries occur annually with nearly 1 million requiring medical cares. Young children are disproportionately victimized. Never force an animal to socialize and never allow visitors unsupervised access to a pet. Make a safe place for the pet to go to get away from company.

Traffic Collisions: From teen drivers to the risk of backover injuries and parking lot accidents, the hectic year-end holiday period is among the most dangerous of the year for young people. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of both injury and death for all children over age 3.

Product Liability: Today’s global online marketplace brings more untested and unsafe items into our home than at anytime in history. The holidays are the time of year when we most often make purchases for young people. The Consumer Products Safety Commission keeps a database of dangerous and unsafe child products.¬†

Responsible Social Hosts Critical Amid COVID

Uncertain travel plans and on-again off-again coronavirus restrictions have everyone’s holiday plans a little more uncertain than usual this year.

Safety advocates are reminding homeowners and other social hosts of the need to act responsibly, especially when alcohol service is part of your plans. More gatherings are planned through football season and the year-end holiday season than at any other time of the year. Florida law can hold homeowners and party hosts responsible in the event a serious personal injury  results from the over service of alcohol to a guest. This is also true for hosts of year-end corporate holiday affairs, though pandemic restrictions have the focus squarely on private hosts this year.

Alcohol service aside, don’t forget to mitigate the more mundane risks posed by large gatherings. Have a plan for parking. Keep kids well away from parked cars and don’t allow street parking to obstruct views or impeded bicycle or foot traffic. Secure your swimming pool and have a pet plan. While Florida does not face many of the fire risks posed by indoor heat, having a working fire extinguisher and a safety plan is critical amid all of the holiday cooking, candles and bonfires that are so often central gathering rituals each holiday season.

If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.

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