Holiday Injuries Are Common
The holidays are here. It should be a time of decorating the house, having loved ones over, and of course, wonderful holiday food. What you might not be expecting is to get an injury. Injuries are actually pretty common during the holidays. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there will be over 15,000 reported injuries related to the holidays. Nobody wants to be hurt during Hanukkah or on Christmas morning. So what can you do to be safe during these holidays and avoid a trip to your local urgent care?
Common Holiday Injuries
Since the world is pretty good with record keeping, we also have records showing what type of injuries are the most reported during the holiday season. Here are the most common injuries you could experience this holiday season.
Slipping & Falling On Ice
For most of the United States, the weather during the holidays will be cold. Very cold. So cold that ice will develop on driveways, sidewalks, roads, and other walking surfaces. There will be ice that develops that you may not see (also known as black ice). Walking or running on ice can cause you to fall as your shoes have decreased traction on ice. Depending on how you fall, you could end up with bruising, sprains, or even broken bones.
Protect Yourself On Ice
Slipping on ice could be a minor inconvenience or it could ruin your holidays. Here are some tips to better protect yourself when walking on ice.
- Wear boots designed to reduce slipping on ice
- Slow down, you don’t need to run
- Look for ice and walk around it
- Limit activity in the dark
- Remove snow as it falls
- Use driveway salt to dissolve ice
For more tips about how to prevent slipping on ice, please visit the CDC website.
If you get snow at your house, you know what comes next … snow shoveling. How else are you going to get to your sidewalk or driveway? Although this chore needs to be done, lots of accidents can occur while shoveling snow. While a slip-and-fall is pretty obvious, there are many other injuries that could occur such as back pain, increased blood pressure, blood clotting, and even heart attacks.
Protect Yourself While Snow Shoveling
No one wants to get a holiday injury while doing chores. Especially in the cold snow. Here are some tips to help prevent an injury while you are shoveling snow.
- Dress warm
- Use the proper technique
- Shovel smaller loads at a time
- Be aware of the ground below you
- Take your time
For more tips to help prevent you from being injured while shoveling snow, visit the University of Chicago Medicine website.
Falling From A Ladder
Many of us will be breaking out the ladder to hang Christmas lights, clean out gutters, or put a star on the top of your Christmas tree. If you are not careful, you could fall off. That means if you are near the roof of your home and fall off a ladder, you will fall one story to the ground (and even further for 2 & 3 story houses). A fall off a ladder can lead to bruises, broken bones, and in extreme situations, death.
Protect Yourself On A Ladder
To protect yourself while on a ladder and help prevent a holiday injury, you should follow these safety tips:
- Use the right ladder
- Make sure the ladder is fully open
- The ladder should be positioned on a solid, ice & water-free surface
- Use a second person to brace the bottom of the ladder while you are on it
- Do not stand on the very top step
- Don’t go higher than what you are comfortable with
- Pay attention to your balance
For additional safety tips about using ladders, we encourage you to visit the OSHA website.
Yes, back injuries are quite common during the holidays. This is largely due to carrying big boxes of holiday decorations as well as hauling Christmas trees. The improper lifting and carrying of large items can cause a great deal of stress on your back resulting in back pain and back injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, you could be lying in bed while the rest of your family is celebrating.
Protect Yourself From Back Injuries
If you have had back pains before, you know that the pain can be restrictive and severe. Here are some tips to help you prevent a holiday back injury.
- Lift & drop items with your legs, not your back
- Use good posture
- Use a dolly, wheelbarrow, or wagon to move large items
- Don’t lift anything that is too heavy for you
- Use a weightlifters belt or back brace
For more tips on preventing back injuries, please see the Texas Division of Insurance Fact Sheet.
Knife & Scissor Injuries
During the holiday season, you may use many different types of blades. From knives in the kitchen to scissors on wrapping paper, on many occasions, you may have sharp blades in your hands. Injuries from cutting yourself on knives and scissors are quite common and increase n frequency during the holiday season. Holiday injuries from cutting yourself range from minor nicks to severing off a finger.
Protect Yourself From A Blade Injury
We are sure you were told by your parents not to play with knives or scissors. Although a great tip, here are some more tips to better protect yourself from cutting yourself this holiday season.
- Make sure blades are kept sharp and not dull
- Use the right kind of blade for the job
- Cut away from yourself
- Wear cut-resistant gloves
- Pay attention to the blade while cutting
- Limit your usage of blades
For more tips on how to properly use knives and scissors, read more information from the Health And Safety Executive.
Believe it or not, candles were at one time used on Christmas trees as decoration. As a society, we now use more caution than putting burning objects on dying trees but it doesn’t mean that accidents from flaming candles don’t occur. Candles left on coffee tables, end tables, and bedroom tables tend to burn people as people forget that the candles are there. Improper use of a candle could cause a structure fire. Accidents from candles can range from a minor burn to burning down your house.
Protect Yourself From A Candle Burn
Although candle safety may seem trivial, candles cause about 3% of all home fire deaths. Here are some tips to make sure your candles do not cause you harm:
- Keep candles at 12 inches away from anything that can burn
- Use candle holders
- Place candles in a place that is removed from busy activity
- Candles should be out of reach for children
- Always put your candles out when you are no longer using them
For more candle safety tips, view the information from the National Fire Prevention Association website.
HealthCARE Express Can Assist With Your Holiday Injury
Even with all the precautionary measures you can take, accidents are still bound to happen. When a holiday injury does happen, we at HealthCARE Express are here for you. Our urgent care is ready to assist with many medical services from a back injury or stitches for that sliced finger. Our nurses and providers will get you in & out quickly with the proper medical care you require without breaking the bank. Come and visit us the next time you are hurt, you’ll be glad you did.