How to Avoid Entertaining Dangers

When cooler weather brings family and friends inside, hidden hazards may lurk in places you least expect.

Follow these tips for a fun – yet safe – entertaining experience:

  1. Prevent food-borne illness by keeping surfaces disinfected and maintaining safe food temperatures. Eating raw cookie dough is also off-limits. (Sorry!) These measures are particularly important for pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
  2. Put a decorative notecard next to food items containing common allergens like peanuts, wheat and dairy.
  3. Remove throw rugs or be sure they have a non-skid backing. Not only can they slide underfoot, but they can bunch up and create a tripping hazard.
  4. If you have pets, find out if any of your guests are highly allergic. If so, put Fluffy and Fido in a separate area of your home, and vacuum well to remove pet hair and dander.
  5. Some plants are very poisonous. Take a quick inventory and relocate any that could be dangerous to children or animals. Holly and amaryllis flowers are examples.
  6. Keep an eye on drinks. A toddler (or teenager) may be tempted to enjoy a grown-up beverage.
  7. Offer a safe spot for your guests’ belongings. Medications or sharp objects in purses or coats can be deadly to curious kiddos and animals.
  8. Make sure cleaning supplies, lighters, medications and other hazards are out of reach. If you don’t have children in your home, take a few minutes to walk through the areas of greatest danger (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room).
  9. If you’re a gun owner, be sure to put your unloaded weapon in a locked safe. Today’s toys are very realistic and a child may not recognize the difference.

Anticipating – and preventing – potential party pitfalls will allow you to relax and enjoy your guests without worrying about injuries or illness. Before you know it, you’ll become the go-to host!

- By Janelle Sabin, Dec 12, 2016