Winter Holiday Hazards

  • Carry a plastic bottle of sand mixed with rock-salt in the trunk of your car. If you get stuck on sheet ice, sprinkling some around the tire may provide traction. Some people fill up empty gallon paint cans with sand and replace the lids, instead of carrying bags of sand. Roofing shingles also work well.
  • When shoveling snow, take your time and don't try to do too much at once. It is an excellent cardio-vascular workout, but you have to be in good shape at the outset. One tip to make it easier: If wet snow sticks to your snow shovel, spray the shovel with spray shortening.
  • Don't pick up the pan your turkey is roasting in and discover that the "hot mitt" gloves you are wearing don't provide enough insulation. Check to make sure before you lift the pan.
  • If you have a new puppy or child in the house, don't decorate your tree with popcorn garlands, candy canes, or other edibles. Many a big tree has been toppled by little people and animals.
  • When the gas tank in your car gets to half full, fill it up. You never know when a massive traffic jam will snare you.
  • Some cats love to eat tinsel. It doesn't agree with them.
  • Walking your dog at lunch time is more pleasant and safer than trying to do it in the dark before or after work. You can see icy patches more clearly, and motorists can see you better, also.
  • If you have cookies baking, don't ask someone to take over if that person is sleepy, lying on the couch and watching television. Or, if you do, make sure you smoke detector works and is loud enough to wake them.
  • Traffic jams, sudden storms and detours might mean that you have to spend much longer than you planned in your car. It can take two to three hours to drive as little as 15 miles on an icy road. Put together a winter-driving kit, including a pair of gloves, a warm hat, and a blanket.