Yes, it’s that time of year again. Tis’ the season to trim the Christmas tree and decorate the house. Tis’ also the season for accidents!
Holiday-related injuries rose last year and expectations are that too much festive fa la la will have people packing emergency departments again this season.
The leading cause of holiday injuries – falling from ladders while stringing lights. Injuries can range from a loss of pride to loss of life. Almost 20 years ago a highly respected colleague and friend of mine, gastroenterologist Dr Bernard Smits died as a result of a head injury sustained while doing exactly that.
But even assuming you skip the light hanging you’re not entirely safe from danger…
Here’s a list of the Top 3 holiday-related injuries:
Holiday Decorations – More than 13,000 people were treated as a result of cuts from ornaments during the 2010 holiday season alone.
Dangerous/Malfunctioning Toys – According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more than 250,000 people were treated in emergency rooms due to toy-related accidents in 2010. Of these around 181,500 were children younger than 15.
Wrap Rage – Adults and kids become so frustrated with that hard plastic around toys and electronics that they cut themselves when they try to tear it open. The cuts come from both the scissors or other sharp tools used when prying the package open and/or the really sharp edges on the packaging itself. Census Bureau research claims that people suffer two times more injuries from trying to open packaging than injuries from skateboards or swimming pools combined!
So how can you avoid a trip to the ER this year? Here’s some advice from Doctors Express and the CPSC:
- Immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging on toys before they become dangerous play things
- Unlike what Mom or Dad taught us, kids don’t always have to share – be sure to keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings
- Adults should open toys and install batteries BEFORE wrapping them and putting them under the tree
- Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children
So now you know!