Talk about bah humbug! No one wants to wind up in the ER during the holidays, or any day for that matter. For many, the holidays are a time of joy, whether it means sharing meals with family, volunteering your time, or giving (or receiving) presents. Yet no matter how happy things seem, there is always the chance that, at any time, something can go wrong. With all the excitement and activity, it’s no wonder we get a little careless.
However, if you remain aware and take basic precautions, chances are you can avoid some of the worst holiday accidents. Here are a few things worth looking out for:
Cooking Related Injuries
According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, Thanksgiving is the peak time of year for cooking injuries. But even though turkey day has past, there’s a chance that all the hustle and bustle around the stove could ignite more than just taste buds or memories. Keep an eye on anything you are cooking, and if you choose to indulge in alcohol, turn the task over to a sober family member.
Christmas Trees, Fireplaces and Space Heater Fires
The most common holiday fires occur when decorations are placed to close to a source of heat (space heater, candle, or fireplace). Christmas tree fires are a lot less common than you would expect, but according to the US Fire Administration, a Christmas tree fire is almost three times more likely to lead to death. You can read more about avoiding a devastating tragedy by visiting the USFA website.
Cold Weather Woes
Even if you’re not going far, cold weather can sneak up on you. Layering your clothing will keep you prepared for anything. Learn the symptoms of life-threatening conditions like hypothermia and frostbite, and seek immediate shelter and/or treatment if you suspect a problem. If you’re travelling, keep extra blankets in your car in case you get stuck, and monitor the weather reports to avoid severe storms. Discover more winter weather safety tips on the ready.gov webpage.
Heavy Lifting and Chores
No one wants to see Santa with a sprained back. A national study, conducted in 2011, revealed that in one year, over 11,500 emergency room visits were caused by shoveling – and over 100 snow-related deaths. Whether you’re shoveling snow or carrying heavy packages, never be afraid to ask for assistance, whether from the kids down the block or from your own family. Know how to to bend and lift properly, and if you have a long driveway, consider a snowblower.
Trips and Falls
According to several sources, over 20,000 trip and fall injuries are reported each each year due to extension cords. Other situations, like ice and snow, are even more unpredictable. Ice melt and cat litter can help improve traction, but only if the temperature is right. Invest in good snow boots with tread, and keep an eye out for ice patches hidden under snow.
When All Else Fails…
Accidents are called accidents for a reason. They happen without warning, and sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent them. Even with good advice and resources, unpredictable and tragic events can turn your home into a biohazard scene. If you experience an accident or other incident in your place of residence, know that Aftermath Services is there to assist you with cleaning – even over the busiest of holidays. Call us any time at 877-872-4339 for nationwide trauma cleanup. Technicians are available 24/7 to take your call.