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Travel nursing advice: Holiday safety

The holidays are a time of peace, love and family. However, due to the weather conditions and an increased amount of activity, it's also a time of year for injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 250 injuries a day occur nationwide during the holiday season – giving people who work in travel therapy and travel nursing jobs plenty to do! Most of these injuries are accident related, many of them stemming from activities only done during the holidays, such as hanging lights or carrying heavy items, like Christmas trees. Here are some things that all medical professionals should instruct their patients to do this holiday season in an effort to stay safe:

Keep your decorations safe
Many parents go above and beyond while childproofing their homes, but make an exception around the holidays when it comes to decor. However, just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean that you should disregard safety around the house. In order to keep your children from hurting themselves, keep breakable or sharp ornaments off of the Christmas tree. If any ornaments resemble candy, teach your child not to attempt to eat them, either. If you enjoy using small knickknacks as decoration, be sure to keep them on shelves out of reach of children to ensure they don't break  or become choking hazards.

Take care when it comes to your tree
Christmas trees, especially real ones, are flammable, so they should never be placed near a heat source, like a radiator or fireplace. If you're shopping for a new artificial one this year, look for fire resistant options and be sure to use lights that are specifically meant for indoor use. If you're using a real tree, keep it watered so it doesn't dry out and become more of a fire hazard. Make sure the stand is sturdy so there is no chance of your children or pets knocking it down.

Dress appropriately 
Nobody looks stylish during the winter. There isn't anything chic about puffer coats or snow boots. When it's cold and icy outside, you want to be sure you're dressed appropriately, even if you're going to a holiday party. Rather than wearing heels, don your boots and change when you arrive to the party so you don't risk slipping on ice in shoes without tread. To limit your chances of hypothermia, always bundle up when you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time. 

Ask for help
Whether you're standing on a ladder outside stringing lights on your house or attempting to carry a heavy load of gifts upstairs from your hiding spot in the basement, don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it. This is a stressful time of year for everyone, and many people take on more responsibility than they're capable of handling. While most people in travel nursing jobs regularly tell their patients of the importance of taking care of their physical health, they should remind people to keep their mental well-being in check as well.

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