The holidays are a time to take a vacation, relax, and spend quality time with loved ones. However, frequently, it’s also the season where the most injuries occur. To avoid common holiday accidents, we’ve compiled a list of the most common injuries and ways to prevent them.
What Are the Most Common Holiday Accidents?
More than 5,800 individuals are injured in fall-related injuries attributed to holiday decorating or related activities. Men were more likely to sustain injuries than women, with most falls resulting from ladder accidents. Some of the ways falls from decorating can occur:
Hanging holiday lights/decorations on a roof
Standing on furniture to decorate a Christmas tree or put up holiday décor
Tripping or slipping over cords and other holiday-related objects (such as a tree skirt, extension cord, or ornament)
Take these precautions:
Make sure ladders are on a level surface and that the area around the top and bottom are clear
Do not try to overreach when putting up lights/decorations; extend your ladder or ask for help
Try to avoid stepping on furniture to hang holiday décor; use a ladder appropriately instead
Put extension cords, lights, and other holiday items out of the way to avoid trips and falls
Have a family member or friend spot you when using a ladder
2. Bad weather car accidents
Many weather-related car accidents happen on wet pavement and during rainfall. If you must drive on wet or snowy roads, pay close attention to your surroundings. Stay about 20 seconds behind other cars in case they stop suddenly. Avoid sudden braking to eliminate skidding (if your car does skid, be sure to turn in the direction of the slide). Use your turn signal well in advance to alert other drivers that you will be slowing down.
Also, since more people are on the road during the holiday season, accidents are more common. Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are some of the most dangerous times to be on the road. See if you can avoid or limit your time on the road during these holidays.
3. Holiday fires
The lights on holiday decorations can start fires. If you’re shopping for a Christmas tree look for a recently cut tree that still has fresh, green needles and a stump that is sticky with resin. Set your tree up away from heat sources like a vent, fireplace, and/or radiator. Be sure to check your Christmas lights for loose connections, frayed wires, and/or broken or cracked sockets. Throw out damaged lights and do not use frayed or old extension cords.
When burning candles, make sure they are out of the way of children and pets. You do not want them to be knocked over. Keep candles away from trees, decorations curtains, furniture, and any other items that could catch on fire. Never leave a candle burning unattended and blow it out before leaving your residence.
4. Back injuries
Holiday travel can take a toll on your back. Picking up heavy luggage at the airport, moving furniture to set up decorations, lugging gifts from your house to your car can all lead to bank injuries, strains, or worse. To avoid harming your back this holiday season, remember to lift heavy objects with your legs and carry them close to your body. Consider hiring professional help if something is heavy. When you are using a bag with a shoulder strap, alternate shoulders to prevent soreness or injury.
If an injury is severe enough, it might require a trip to the hospital. If you require emergency medical transportation, an ambulance ride or even emergency helicopter can quickly become thousands of dollars, and as much as $50,000, and the expense is not covered by Medicare. Protect yourself with a Medical Air Services Association (MASA) plan. MASA provides coverage from emergency medical transportation bills and protects you from the expensive cost of ground and air ambulances. ASBA offers MASA and getting a plan is easy. You can even sign up online.