Avoid these Common Holiday Injuries
Tis the season to be jolly, or to end up in an exam room at the Idaho Hand Institute because of a common holiday injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 13,000 people were treated in a hospital emergency room due to injuries related to holiday decorating! And that’s just decorating, that doesn’t take into account all of the other common holiday injuries that occur because of other holiday happenings. Holiday falls are the most common holiday mishap, typically involving older people hanging outside lights that hurt their head or neck; middle-aged men who have enjoyed a few cocktails before attempting to hang holiday decorations and injure their wrists and shoulders; and children who try to help decorate and accidently fall, resulting in concussions and head wounds. Many times people overestimate their climbing abilities and don’t have spotters for their ladders, or they slip because they’re not paying attention to where their feet are, only to what they are hanging. Heavy and cumbersome decorations also lend to the falls, as does a “hurry up” mentality. Rushing up and down a ladder, racing through tangled lights, or topping the tree in a hurry can result in injuries that could have been avoided by simply slowing down and paying attention. Falls aren’t the only reason people end up with common holiday injuries. Fires are another hazard that occur around the holiday season. Christmas trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association, are easily ignited. If you use a live tree, be sure to only use fresh ones with green needles that don’t easily break or fall off. Keep your tree away from heat sources and don’t use real candles as ornaments or tree lights. If you use artificial trees for holiday décor, choose a fire resistant variety. This will be listed on the label. Check all fireplaces and candles before you go to bed to make sure all flames are out and ashes aren’t hot. Alcohol is another reason for common holiday injuries: alcohol and cooking; alcohol and arguments; alcohol and vehicles. If you choose to include alcohol in your festivities, please do so responsibly, and ensure your guests are safe and sensible whether their toasting before a beautiful meal or ringing in the New Year. If you do happen to end up with a common holiday injury, we’re here to help. Our staff understands accidents, whether they could have been prevented or not. Our job is not to judge, but to assist in the healing process. If you find yourself, or one of your guests, with a common holiday injury, come to us-Because tis the season to be jolly, and at home with your loved ones, not in an emergency room. For more information on common holiday injuries and how we treat them, please contact the Idaho Hand Institute at (208) 235-4263 or at any of our four locations: Pocatello, Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, and Soda Springs.