During the holiday season, many people do not want their thoughts to stray to anything unpleasant. Although celebrating may be the primary goal come the holiday season, individuals and families also should devote some attention to keeping the holidays safe. Just because it’s Chanukah, Christmas or New Year’s doesn’t mean safety and security should not remain a top priority. The following guidelines can help families enjoy a holiday season that is healthy, safe and secure.

Exercise caution when decorating.
Decorations can be beautiful, but they also can be hazardous if not used properly. Overloading outlets is commonplace during the holiday season, but that can lead to home fires. Exercise caution around candles and other open flames. Pets may become tangled in wires or knock over glass ornaments. Keep delicate decorations away from harm.

Wash hands to prevent germs.
As the cold weather arrives, people may spend greater periods of time indoors or in close proximity to other people. The holidays also are about greeting friends and relatives, and embracing or kissing. Do not ruin the festivities by spreading germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the holiday season is also flu season. The CDC recommends celebrants wash their hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds to remove germs.

Keep track of curious children.
Children are enamored with the sights and sounds of the holidays and may be more curious than ever during this time of year. Things adults take for granted can be hazards to youngsters. The needles of holiday trees can cause painful cuts in the mouth and throat of a child who swallows them. Snow sprays may be harmful if the aerosol propellants are used improperly. Peanuts and popcorn used for decorating can pose potential choking hazards to young children.

Be a smart host or hostess.
Alcoholic beverages and holiday revelry sometimes go hand in hand. Responsible party hosts know when a guest has had too much and will arrange safe transportation home. Because kids imitate adults, many may drink the beverages they see adults drinking. Alcohol poisoning is a real risk for children, so pay attention to youngsters no matter how young they may be.

Protect the home.
Deter home burglars when traveling for the holidays by having neighbors keep a watchful eye on your house. Use motion-sensor lights, keep up the appearance that someone is home by having mail collected, and do not advertise any travel plans on social media. Investment in a home security system if need be.
Ensure a happier holiday season by making safety and health a priority.