The holiday season is here, and that means hanging lights, cooking for friends, and gathering together. But nothing takes the merry out of your holiday than a trip to the emergency room. While holiday prep and parties are a blast, they can be hazardous if you aren’t careful.
“It’s the most dangerous time of the year,” Patrick Allan writes in Lifehacker. “With kids cutting fingers, dads falling off ladders, and you slipping onto your rear. It’s that hap-haphazardly season of all.”
Cheery, right? Well, with the right knowledge and some preparedness, you can keep your celebrations as safe as possible.
Common Holiday Injuries
While every family has their own holiday accident stories, you probably want to keep yours to a minimum. Prevention starts with knowledge, and the following are some of the most common incidents that happen this time of year.
- Falls: From slick driveways to high ladders, there are plenty of opportunities to take a tumble. While 25,000 Americans sprain their ankles every day, holiday parties and prep set the scene for these types of injuries. Grandma could trip over a new toy or you could step sideways in the snow.
- Decorating Mishaps: Holiday decorating causes many injuries, some serious. From climbing on ladders to handling electrical objects, homeowners often put themselves in harm’s way if not careful.
- Cooking Accidents: Lacerations and burns from cooking are also quite common. This is especially true when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.
- Fires: We’ve all heard horror stories about Christmas trees bursting into flames or candles burning too long. These tragic accidents can cause serious injuries and property loss.
Injury Prevention Tips
Now that you know the most common types of accidents, take these steps to keep you and your family safe.
- Decorate In Pairs: By decorating with another person, you have someone to watch the ladder or warn you of any hazards. And if an accident does happen, there is someone there to take action.
- Lift Carefully: About 80% of the U.S. population experiences back pain in their lifetime, and much of this pain comes from lifting incorrectly. To avoid strain, lift boxes of decorations and heavy gifts using your leg muscles.
- Watch Your Kids: Even though you are busy cooking and hosting during holiday gatherings, keep an eye on your little ones. They can easily burn themselves in the kitchen or playing with decorations.
- Locate The Closest Hospital: Traveling can add an extra layer of stress to the possibility of a holiday accident. Fortunately, there are 5,564 registered hospitals in the United States. While you might not be able to see your doctor, locate the closest hospital to your holiday destination.
- Mind Fire Hazards: Keep fire hazards on your radar at all time. Turn off your tree lights at night and when you are not home. Remember to blow out candles and unplug other electric decorations. This will keep your holiday decorations from causing major problems.
While family and friends are the main focus of your holiday, don’t forget to scan the room for safety checks. This will help you address any hazards that you see and prevent incidents. And without accidents, you can keep your holiday as merry and bright as possible.