Librarians: Plan Ahead for December: Holiday Safety and Cold Weather Safety Month

Here are December health program ideas to incorporate into your library’s overall programming strategy – brought to you by The Pulse, part of the Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center.

Did you know that according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

  • December is the most common month for household fires caused by candles and that Christmas is the peak day?
  • On December 24th, 25th and 26th, injuries and deaths caused by fires and dollar loss from fires increase an average of 50%, 61%, and 43%, respectively?
  • Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January and February?

Not only is the winter holiday season a prime time for household fires, but it is also when dangerous winter weather hits, alcohol is frequently featured at holiday parties, lots of new toys are given to children, kitchens are used more frequently and leftover food abounds – all of these posing risks of their own.

The good news is that holiday and winter fires and accidents are for the most part preventable, and promoting Holiday Safety and Cold Weather Safety Month at your library will be a snap with these free resources and with information from Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center:

  • Quick and Easy: printable coloring pages and other activities for children and handy printables for adults.
  • Featured Resources: books for children and adults and links to reliable information online
  • Book Club: ideas for your book discussion group
  • Tie In: Discuss Winter Weather Safety during story time
  • Community Resources: local agencies to contact
  • Publicity Resources: free items to help you publicize Winter and Holiday Fire Safety at your library through social networking sites or traditional printed materials
  • Fun Stuff: links to interactive information

Quick and Easy

Coloring Pages and Activities for Children:

Printables for Adults:

Featured Resources


Reliable Online Information:

Book Club

Discuss holiday and winter safety this month by choosing one of these interesting book for your December book club.

Non-Fiction: The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin (HarperCollins, 2004)

From the publisher: “On the morning of January 12, 1888, a snow storm of unprecedented ferocity and suddenness swept down on the American prairie. One moment the air was clear and mild, the next a blinding wall of ice dust engulfed the landscape in an instantaneous white-out. Thousands were caught out on the prairie without protection. Children on their way home from one-room prairie schools, farmers taking care of their livestock, families doing errands in towns — all were overtaken by this terrible storm. But the blizzard itself was just the beginning of their peril. In the wake of the front that propelled the storm, some of the coldest air ever recorded spread over the region. As darkness fell, temperatures from Montana to Kansas plunged to double digits below zero. When the sun rose on the glittering windless morning of January 13, hundreds lay frozen to death on the open prairie — many of them children.”

Fiction: Ice Cold: a Rizzoli and Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen (Random House, 2010)

From the publisher: “A spur-of-the-moment ski trip becomes a bone-chilling nightmare when a wrong turn leaves Boston medical examiner Maura Isles marooned—far from home and help—in the snowbound Wyoming mountains. Seeking shelter from the cold, she and her traveling companions stumble upon Kingdom Come—a remote village of identical houses that seems to have become a ghost town overnight. But the abandoned hamlet has dark secrets to tell, and Maura’s party may not be as alone as they think. Days later, word reaches Boston homicide cop Jane Rizzoli that Maura’s charred remains have been found at the scene of a car crash. But the shocking news leaves Jane with too many questions, and only one way to get answers. Determined to dig up the truth, she heads for the frozen desolation of Kingdom Come, where gruesome discoveries lie buried, and a ruthless enemy watches and waits.”

Tie In

Story Time:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Use this classic 1963 Caldecott Award-winning classic to start a conversation about winter weather safety.

Community Resources

Find a local agency to partner with, a speaker, or other local resources here:

Publicity Resources

Use these free resources from the U.S. Fire Administration alongside your library’s November programming information – newsletter, blog, posters, or fliers – to promote both your library’s programs and Holiday Fire Safety.

Fun Stuff

Add some interesting and helpful interactive links to a library program, your library website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed:

For Children:

Interactive Tools:




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