Protect yourself from common holiday injuries. If you will have guests in your home, there are steps you can take to protect them, as well. The holiday season sends at least 14,000 people to emergency rooms for treatments of a range of injuries. We hope to help you enjoy the holidays without injuries.
Among the most common holiday season injuries serious enough to send people to the Emergency Room are these:
- Burns are very common injuries during the holidays. From turkey fryer accidents to splashes on the face, to taking something out of the over without a potholder, the burns that send people to the ER can be very serious. Be careful around candles and ensure that they are well out of the reach of children. Before using real candles in decorations, think about who will be in your home and their safety. When preparing food, allow extra time to reduce the chance of injuries.
- Broken bones. The holiday season brings many opportunities for people to fall and break bones. Falls from ladders, tripping over toys and rugs, falls related to new toys. Many times, children need time to learn to use new toys. Sometimes, they think they know how to use gifts and are injured. Older people begin to have balance difficulties. They do not always recover their balance as quickly as younger people, resulting in falls.
- Heart attack and stroke. The seasonings and cooking styles used during the holiday often contain more sugar, salt, and other spices. When families gather there may be differences of opinion and memories that create stress. These factors, combined with the noise and confusion, may set the stage for heart attack or stroke.
- The parties and activities of the season may be difficult for those who suffer from depression. The increased stress and the ups and downs of the season can increase feelings of depression. Some who are depressed attempt suicide.
- Head injuries. When people fall (regardless of age), there is always a risk of a head injury. Icy sidewalks and stairs are particularly dangerous. Toys made for older children can be very dangerous for younger children.
- Rushing to prepare and to serve food puts us at risk of laceration. Broken holiday decorations can be dangerous, as well.
- Food and Alcohol poisoning. Sometimes it seems like a good idea to leave food out on a table. But food collects bacteria that can make you sick. Some of that food should not be left at room temperature. Food poisoning can send an entire family to the ER. Alcohol poisoning is common during the holidays, especially on New Year’s Eve.
- People can choke while eating any meal. The excitement of the season can increase the risk of choking. Seasonal decorations often include small parts that can be picked up by children. Some toys can be dangerous due to small detachable parts.
Many injuries can be handled at home. But some of these serious injuries will demand fast thinking, a bit of knowledge, and a trip to the nearest ER. Having a plan to deal with injuries will save precious time and ensure the health of the injured person.
Plan ahead, allow extra time, include protecting your guests as part of your planning and decorating.