Every year around this time, emergency room personnel see an influx of holiday-related injuries. Your favorite holiday traditions can lead to these common accidents or injuries:
- A winter wonderland may be fun in theory, but it’s not so fun when you have to drive in it. Pay special attention to roads that are slippery or icy. We suggest drivers review our safe driving guide before getting behind the wheel.
- Holiday parties are a great way to catch up with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. These gatherings often involve alcohol. Drivers who plan on drinking should do the responsible thing and designate a sober driver before the party begins. Those who can’t find one should use a taxi or a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft.
- Read the directions and warnings on all decorative lights packages to make sure you install them safely and properly.
- Don’t use indoor lights outside, or outdoor lights inside, or else you run the risk of the lights malfunctioning and starting a fire or giving you an electrical shock.
- You’ll also want to check lights for any damage like a frayed wire or a cracked socket. It’s best to throw damaged lights out or repair them before decorating.
- If you need to put decorations up in hard-to-reach places, make sure you practice ladder safety. You want the ladder to be on a sturdy surface and the rungs to be clean and dry. If you have to step onto your roof, make sure someone else is around in case you lose your balance.
- Slipping and falling on ice can cause serious injuries, like paralysis. Pay attention to the surface you’re walking on so you avoid stepping on slick or uneven surfaces. This will help you maintain your balance or help you regain it quicker than you would if you didn’t pay attention.
- Wet store floors are big slip and fall culprits during times of frantic holiday shopping. Watch your step, especially in high-traffic areas and store entrances, where water and snow get tracked in.
- Cook all meats thoroughly to eliminate your chance of acquiring a foodborne illness. Also make sure no other foods touch raw meats, because that might transfer bacteria.
- Refrigerate perishable foods as well, as they can easily harbor bacteria while at room temperature.
- Even washing your hands before touching food could help keep you away from the emergency room.
- Lifting luggage, carrying heavy gifts, and shoveling snow may put strain on your back. Use the wheels on luggage and ask someone to help you carry heavy gifts if needed.
- When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to rest your back, or invest in a snow blower.
- Whether you’re carving a pumpkin or turkey, or cutting a piece of warm apple pie, practice knife safety. Cut away from yourself, and make sure your utensils and cutting space are both dry, and your cutting utensils are sharpened. It’s a good idea to keep kids and pets away from the area as well.
Winter sports-related injuries
- Snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and ice skating are great ways to get exercise and fresh air, but once you get injured, it’s all downhill from there.
- Bruises are one thing, but sprained or broken bones can take weeks to heal. Beginners, especially, should take extra precaution and wear padding or a helmet. Better safe than broken!
- Fireplaces and candles give off a warm and friendly glow, but are best observed from a distance. Families with young children may want to consider using flameless candles or keep candles on a sturdy surface and away from easily accessible places.
- If you plan on buying a real Christmas tree, make sure you keep it fresh. Trees that are too dry are more prone to catch fire. If you’re getting a fake tree, make sure it’s fire-resistant. No matter what type of tree you get, keep it from sources of heat, like space heaters and vents.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from any flammable materials such as curtains and wrapping paper. You don’t want to leave space heaters unattended, so turn them off when you leave the room. Be especially careful to supervise children or pets around space heaters.
If you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact our personal injury lawyers today. You can discuss the details of your claim with one of our lawyers to learn what the specific value of it may be. All consultations are free.
We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!