Tips on how to make this holiday season injury free


No matter what holiday your family celebrates this winter, it is important to keep injury prevention at the forefront. With inclement weather, an influx of toys and countless activities, being proactive can go a long way towards keeping your family safe. 

Toy Safety

The season of giving is an exciting time for children and adults alike – keep it that way with some safe gift giving tips.

Unintentional suffocation, which also includes strangulation and choking on food and other objects, is one of the leading causes of injury related death in Canada for children 0-4. 

  • Size, surface and strings: The three Ss should always be considered when buying toys or products for children. Size should be large enough to prevent choking and swallowing; surfaces should be smooth, fire retardant and that stuffing cannot come out; strings should be firmly attached to the product and not be long enough to pose strangulation or choking risk. 
  • Check out size: Toys can pose a hazard to children given their size – if it is small enough to fit in a child’s mouth, the child can choke on it. Check and see if toys (and their pieces) fit through a cardboard toilet paper roll- if so, it is small enough to be a choking hazard for young children. 
  • Age and stage: Always follow the recommended ages on toy labels, as well as evaluating your child’s developmental stage, to ensure it is appropriate. Buying a gift for someone else’s child? Ask the parent before purchasing. 
  • Batteries: If the toy requires batteries, make sure they are locked in the toy in a child proof way. Batteries are a choking hazard, but can also be swallowed as well as cause burns 
  • Magnets: Toys with magnets should be monitored to ensure they are firmly secured, as well as large enough to prevent swallowing – ingestion can cause serious injury 

Road Safety

Winter can be the season where busy social schedules collide with some of the worst winter driving conditions. To ensure that your family is safe on the road, follow some of these tips: 

  • Plan ahead to ensure you have a safe ride home: making sure that you have a plan to travel home safely from holiday parties, ensuring that you are not intoxicated behind the wheel. Check out your area’s local designated driver programs, or taxi services
  • Maintain your ride: Book your vehicle maintenance and ensure that your tires are appropriate for the driving conditions. Make sure to get this done before the snow starts to fly so that you can concentrate on everything else you need to do this holiday season!
  • Know your skill level: Does the thought of driving in the winter cause you to hibernate? Familiarize yourself with the skills and tips to keep you safe on the road

Sports and Recreation

Winter sports are some of the best parts of being outside when the weather gets colder. A few considerations before you head out will ensure that you get the most out of your time on the hill, on the ice, or in your toboggan! 

  • Know your colours: clear blue ice is the strongest ice, while white opaque may only be half as strong. If you are in doubt, stay off. 
  • Keep an eye on temperatures: children should play indoors if the wind chill temperatures are below 25 C (-13 F). On the other end of the thermometer, make sure you are aware of quick thaws, which can weaken ice surfaces as well as promote flooding.
  • Buckle up to slide down:  helmets can prevent serious head injuries when tobogganing- stick to a ski helmet, which is designed for use in cold weather, as well as for similar falls and speeds. Also, make sure it fits correctly before hitting the hill. 



Parachute, a national injury prevention charity, has just launched Parachute’s Horizon, a hub full of injury prevention solutions. All solutions have been vetted to ensure their accuracy and providing evidence based- knowledge you can trust.


  1. Victoria Ess says

    These are GREAT tips. As falls as common, I always make sure the salt the driveway and walkways!

  2. Some great tips. Thank you!

  3. I love these tips, but honestly, I should have handed the road safety tips to the guy that just totaled our car the other day. I trust myself, but the other guy….well I am not sure.
    (Debbie W)

  4. These are great tips. I think the most important one is know you skill level when driving in the snow. If you can’t do it then let someone else drive.

  5. Excellent tips. When it comes to driving I’m more worried about the other drivers. If it’s snowing, just because you have a 4 wheel drive truck doesn’t mean you can speed down the highway and maintain control.

  6. The last thing anyone wants it to face injury over the holiday season. These are great tips to help ensure safety and prevent injury.

  7. These are fantastic tips! I love that really you can just set out to try your best to avoid injuries, they may happen but if you are prepared maybe they will happen way less!

  8. This is a good list of things to think about so you can be prepared. You have so much to stress about this time of year that little things can be overlooked easily causing an accident. I don’t want my holidays to be memorable because of an injury!

  9. It is great to be as prepared as you can be. The Holidays are such a busy time it is easy to get distracted and get hurt.

  10. These are all great tips!! Being prepared can help so many unnecessary injuries and accidents.

  11. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says

    It’s important to stay safe during the holiday season!

  12. Road safety is very important, especially during this time when a lot of people are traveling.

  13. Scarlet of Family Focus Blog says

    Great tips. I never thought of wearing a helmet when sledding!

  14. Yes, please! I definitely would like to avoid any injuries this holiday season. I think it’s great what Parachute is doing to help others ensure they are doing the same.

  15. Those are great tips! No one wants to get hurt during the holidays.

  16. Thank you for these tips. This is an exciting time of year but we always need to remember safety.

  17. Perfect tips! An injury free holiday season is so important. It’s never fun to be sick or injured during the holidays.

  18. Safety is such an important topic. Your post has lots of excellent tips so we can all maximize our chances of getting through the entire holiday season accident-free. Thanks for sharing so much useful information.

  19. Winter can lead to a lot of accidents. Thanks for this information!

  20. Thanks for all of the wonderful tips! Having an injury free holiday is very important.

Speak Your Mind