Here at Ringgold County Hospital, we love our patients, but we don’t want to see you during the holidays because of an accident around your home. We hope you enjoy these basic safety tips to help keep your family healthy as we head into the new year.

Happy Holidays from RCH

Happy Holidays from RCH

Decorating safety

• Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains, or with any potentially flammable item.
• Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach problems. Watch out for mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis. Keep them out of reach.
• If you display a live Christmas tree, put it up away from fireplaces, radiators, and
other heat sources. Make sure the tree doesn’t block foot traffic or doorways. Keep it well watered to avoid the dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs.
• If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
• Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.
• Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.

Hosting and Food Safety

• When preparing a holiday meal for friends and family, be sure to wash hands, utensils, sink, and anything else that has come in contact with raw poultry.
• Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw it in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave.
• Keep your knives sharp! Most knife injuries occur due to dull blades.
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in covered shallow containers within two hours after cooking. Date the leftovers for future use.
• The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. You can’t avoid stress completely, but you can give yourself some relief. Take time to enjoy the season!