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How to keep the holidays holly and jolly: common inuries to avoid

How to keep the holidays holly and jolly: common inuries to avoid

December 1, 2011

Each year the holidays herald delicious tidings of holiday parties, festive decorations, Christmas carols, exchanging gifts – and most importantly, time with family.

But the most festive time of the year can also be one of the most dangerous. In addition to hours with the in-laws and gravy burns, revelers should also beware of safety issues – such as dangerous driving conditions, shopping mall mishaps and more.

So before decking the halls, protect yourself and your loved ones by checking your list twice and make sure that you’ve done everything to avoid these common holiday injuries:

SHOPPING SCARES.

During the holidays malls are buzzing with busy shoppers anxious to scoop up great deals and cross all the names off their list. But with all the hustle and bustle, spilled milk (or hot chocolate) as well as dropped clothing or products can easily go unnoticed and lead to a broken bone or other serious injury. While these types of incidents are the most common cause of shopping injuries, malls and individual stores can also be responsible for other injuries that shoppers may incur as a result of inadequate security. To avoid a potential mall mishap, avoid shopping during peak periods such as Black Friday or the day before or after Christmas.

DANGEROUS DÉCOR.

What would the holidays be without a bouquet of holly, tree full of ornaments and twinkly lights sparkling from every eve? While these festive feasts for the eyes are a favorite part of the holidays for many, holiday-decorating related falls are one of the leading causes of holiday injuries, accounting for 17,465 hospital visits each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year, skip the ER visit and use a stepping stool instead of furniture when hanging lights or decorations and always take safety measures before stepping onto a ladder – making sure that you have someone on hand to hold it in place.

A SEASON FOR FIRE SAFETY.

Each year, the National Fire Protection Association reports that Christmas tree fires cause an estimated 12 deaths, 24 injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. Prevent your scented shrub from becoming a safety hazard by picking a fresh tree (test that it is still sticky to the touch and that its branches are pliable and don’t snap), watering it regularly once it’s in your home and removing it immediately after the holidays.

RISKY ROADS.

Inclement weather and a few too many drinks at the company holiday party combine to make the last three months of the year the most dangerous for drivers. With people driving more frequently and over greater distances to spend the holidays with family the Thanksgiving weekend regularly sees an average of 35 vehicle-related deaths and more than 2,300 injuries.* So before heading over the river and through the woods, make sure that you’re doing everything you can to get there as safely as possible by buckling up, identifying a designated driver and installing the proper tires for icy road conditions.

*Statistics courtesy the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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