Thibodaux Chief of Police Bryan Zeringue would like to offer some quick tips to help you and your families stay safe for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In the car: Colder weather means lots of layers of clothing. But remember, bulky winter clothes and coats can keep a car seat from doing its job. Instead, cover your child with a thick blanket to stay warm after you’ve securely strapped him or her into the car seat.
In the kitchen: At Thanksgiving, things are guaranteed to get a little busy. To help keep hot food out of the reach of little hands, be sure that pot handles and other dishes aren’t close to the edge of the counter or table where they could be pulled down by curious kids.
By the fireplace: If there’s a fireplace in the home, be sure to check that it’s protected by a sturdy screen – and remember that glass screens can take a while to cool down even after the fire has gone out. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
Utilizing a Space Heater: Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. To help prevent a home fire, keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Never use your oven to heat your home. Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
Smoke Alarms: Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
Wherever the medicine is stored: Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. In fact, in 67 percent of medicine-related ER visits, the medicine was within reach of a child, such as in a purse, left on a counter or dresser, or found on the ground. A good rule of thumb: “Up, up and away.” Keep medications out of reach and out of sight.
In the room where you sleep: For many of us, holiday travel means we’ll be spending the night away from home. While you might be fine sleeping on the couch or an air mattress, make sure your baby always sleeps in a safe crib, bassinet or pack-n-play.
Chief Zeringue would also like to remind all motorists to “Please do your part as we enter into the holiday season by wearing your seat belt and making accommodations to get home safely if you do plan to be out celebrating.” “Public safety is our number one goal during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend," said Chief Zeringue. Although COVID restrictions that are set in place may decrease some travel, we must be prepared for the holiday season. To reduce traffic incidents, we encourage every motorist to buckle up and drive sober. Thanksgiving should be a time to appreciate family and togetherness, yet far too many preventable injuries and fatalities continue to occur. We strongly suggest to all drivers to obey the speed limit, buckle up and stay off their cell phones when traveling.