Your Guide to Preventing Holiday Injuries

Man on a roof, hanging Christmas lights.

The holiday season brings more than just festive cheer and family gatherings. Unfortunately, it also sees a significant spike in accidents, particularly due to icy conditions and decorating mishaps. Understandably, preventing holiday injuries may not be on the top of your mind during this joyful season. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 5,800 falls per season are related to decorating. Almost half of those falls are from a ladder. As we embrace the holiday spirit, it’s crucial to be mindful of the increased risks and take proactive steps to ensure our safety.

Walking on Ice

Although most of them are preventable, slips and falls on ice are a leading cause of winter injuries. To combat this, you can:

  • Spread sand or salt on icy patches near your home.
  • Wear shoes with good traction, like boots.
  • Walk like a penguin on ice – flat-footed and with short steps.
  • Use handrails where available.
  • Walk on the grass when available.
  • Keep your hands out of pockets for balance.
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads that could cause imbalance.

If you do end up falling, try to land on your side to reduce the risk of serious injury.

Driving in Snow

Snowy conditions can be treacherous for drivers. But when you have to travel through the snow, keep in mind these safety tips:

  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained, with adequate tire tread and proper fluid levels.
  • Make sure you have plenty of gas in the tank before you start your trip. You don’t want to be stalled on the highway due to an accident and get stranded because you ran out of gas.
  • Drive slowly and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • If you skid, steer in the direction you want to go. Don’t panic and over-correct.

Decorating Safely

Busting out the holiday decorations is always an exciting activity. But it’s important to remember that accidents can happen and you can get hurt if you’re not careful. To avoid the ER this season, remember:

  • Always use a stable, correctly-sized ladder when hanging decorations in high places. Ensure it is securely placed on level ground and never overreach while on the ladder. It’s always a good idea to have a spotter while using a ladder.
  • Check all holiday lights for frayed wires or other damage before use. Avoid overloading electrical outlets and always turn off decorative lights before leaving home or going to sleep.
  • Make sure all decorations are securely fastened to avoid them falling and causing injury or damage. This is especially important for outdoor decorations that can be affected by weather conditions.
  • Never leave candles unattended and keep them away from flammable materials. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles as a safer alternative.
  • Ensure your home is well-lit to avoid tripping hazards. Be mindful of where you place decorations and ensure they don’t obstruct walkways.

The winter season, while festive and fun, poses several risks that can lead to serious injuries. By being aware and taking proactive safety measures, you can enjoy the holidays without the worry of accidents. Remember, if you or a loved one does suffer an injury, contact us. Our experienced personal injury team is here to help you navigate through these challenging times.