Holiday Hazards

Source:    Vista Health

Source: Vista Health

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 12,500 people are treated in emergency rooms for holiday related injuries each year. A few precautions can help you make it through the season safe and sound.

Check the falls

Falls, especially while putting up or taking down decorations, are the most common cause of holiday injuries. To avoid taking a tumble:

  • Stand on a stable step stool or ladder to hang decorations. Do not stand on the top step or stretch to reach things while on a ladder.

  • Do not place extension cords across walkways, where people can trip over them.

Fire away

Flickering flames and lights bring warmth to the holiday scene — and the potential for burns and shocks. To reduce your risk:

  • Inspect decorations before use and discard any with damaged or worn wiring.

  • Burn candles within sight, where children or pets cannot knock them over.
    Place a screen around the fireplace. Do not burn gift wrap, which can flare up suddenly.

Look sharp

Lacerations are common injuries during the winter months. To cut your chances of injury:

  • Be cautious when opening gifts and especially careful with tough-to-open plastic packaging.

  • Take extra care with pointed, sharp-edged or breakable ornaments.

  • When using scissors, knives or box cutters, cut with the blade moving away from your body.