Avoid These 7 Common Holiday Hazards
Avoid These 7 Common Holiday Hazards

The most wonderful time of the year is in full swing. Houses are lit up with bright lights, Christmas trees are up, and spirits are high. What no one expects during this holiday season is an injury. But unfortunately, thousands of Americans end up injured and hospitalized every year during the holidays. From decorating mishaps to “unwrapping rage”—it’s a real thing!—there are many holiday hazards you want to be careful of.

Here are 7 common causes of holiday hazards in December:

  1. Falling. When decorating, people often climb ladders or stand on unstable surfaces. Roughly 6,000 people are admitted to the hospital each year after falling from a ladder while putting up or taking down Christmas lights. Men ages 60-85 are most likely to injure themselves by falling off a ladder or roof while hanging Christmas lights. Avoid falling while decorating by having someone hold the ladder steady as you climb. You should also avoid standing on anything precarious, such as a dining room chair, while decorating.
  2. Fires. The US Fire Administration says that more than 400 Americans are killed and 1,600 are injured each year in holiday fires. These fires are also responsible for about $990 million in damages. According to the National Safety Council, more than half of all home fires in December are started by candles. If you are going to be lighting candles, always make sure to blow them out before leaving the house or going to bed. Christmas tree fires are also a cause for concern. If you have a tree, always turn the lights off when leaving the house or going to bed. It’s also important to keep the tree watered to prevent it from drying out. Additionally, avoid displaying the tree near a furnace or fireplace. Eventually the tree will naturally dry out, so be sure to dispose of it at the appropriate time.
  3. Electrocution. Those lovely twinkling lights you hang on your tree and outside your house can be dangerous if they are not working properly. Make sure to inspect lights for frayed wires, broken bulbs or loose connections before plugging them in. Also be sure that the packaging indicated the lights are UL-certified, meaning they have undergone testing for safety and durability. You should also try to use as few power cords as possible to prevent overloading.
  4. Dangerous decor. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), holiday decorations and lights cause more than 12,000 emergency visits annually. Some hazards are obvious, like putting tiny ornaments on the tree when you have children, or displaying heavy, breakable objects. Other dangers are less conspicuous, like poinsettia flowers being poisonous to children and pets. Do your best to avoid any decorations that pose an unnecessary danger to your family members and guests.
  5. Lifting heavy objects. One obvious item that is awkward and heavy is a Christmas tree. More than 1,000 injuries a year are caused by Christmas trees, with many of those being lifting injuries. Christmas trees can end up being much heavier than they appear, so it is crucial to lift them properly and request assistance as needed. As with all heavy lifting, you should use your legs to lift the Christmas tree, ensuring there is no strain on your back.
  6. Shopping. Believe it or not, Christmas shopping can cause a lot of injuries. From stampedes and excessive crowds during sales like Black Friday, to disputes between customers, shopping can pose some real safety hazards. Your best bet is to avoid stores that are overcrowded, and to always keep calm if any conflicts arise. No gift is worth getting into an altercation over.
  7. Unwrapping gifts. Another seemingly silly problem, difficult packaging really does cause many injuries every year. One British study conducted in 2008 found that difficult packaging resulted in 60,000 emergency visits each year. Injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to sprains. Additionally, the CPSC reports that 6,500 Americans are hospitalized each year due to injuries sustained while opening gifts.

christmas gifts

The holidays are a season for sharing time with loved ones, enjoying friends and family, and ushering in the new year with peace and gratitude. An injury can really put a damper on the spirit of the season. Fortunately, most of these holiday hazards can be successfully avoided by taking the proper precautions and using common sense.

“We are wishing our wonderful community a safe, relaxing and happy holiday season,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Palm Desert Accident Lawyer

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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