In this seasonal blog, we look at the causes and how to prevent holiday injuries.
The holiday season, especially Christmas, sees our streets and homes illuminated with lights, ornaments, and festive cheer. While the merriment is infectious, another side to this joyous occasion is the high rate of holiday-related injuries.
Holiday Injury Statistics
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.gov) highlights that over 18,000 Americans annually find themselves in the ER due to injuries caused by Christmas decor. In one ten-year span, Christmas decorations sent an alarming 134,281 people to the emergency departments.
What’s the trend in holiday injuries?
Males account for 58% of all holiday injuries. It’s interesting to note that men, more frequently than women, were injured while using ladders. This stat hints at men being more involved in hanging higher-placed decorations or less cautious when climbing. Another contributor to holiday injury is slips or falls on ice or muscle strain from shoveling snow.
It’s crucial to be aware of the risk factors to prevent holiday injuries. Especially falls, which lead the charts during this time of year. Let’s take a look at both holiday decorating accidents and weather-related falls.
Making our homes look festive sometimes comes with unexpected costs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that 160 decorating-related injuries happen daily during the holiday season in the U.S. Almost 50% of these accidents are falls resulting in concussions, broken bones, and strained muscles.
To prevent holiday injuries while decorating:
- Inspect your ladder for any defects.
- Ensure you’re working with others when on a ladder.
- Follow guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, like moving the ladder’s base a foot away from the wall for every four feet of height.
The holidays also mean heavy lifting – from packages to groceries. Heavy lifting can lead to strained backs and necks. A preventive measure is to lift using your legs, not overextending yourself, and ensure that online shopping doesn’t strain your neck. (Can looking at your phone or computer cause neck pain? Yes! Read a blog from our resource library.)
It’s alarming to read actual cases that require emergency medical attention. Here are just a few tracked by Cannon Law. The law firm researched accidents caused by holiday decorating…is it truth or fiction that Americans are injured while decorating their homes for the holiday season? It’s true, and here is a quote:
“An 83-year-old woman who tripped over a Christmas train, hitting her head on concrete. Other instances include rib fractures from falls while decorating and foot fractures from accidents involving Christmas trees.”
It emphasizes the need for safety and, for those who face injuries, the Importance of Fall Prevention, which can be explored in detail in this blog from The Therapy Network.
Snow and Ice Cause Holiday Injuries
The winter wonderland can quickly turn into a slippery hazard. Holiday celebrations should be free of trips to the hospital due to falls on icy surfaces. Adding to this, the season’s euphoria, with a mix of alcohol, fatigue, and boisterous children, can make homes accident-prone, especially on stairs.
Keeping stairs clutter-free, having adequate lighting, and eliminating tripping hazards can significantly prevent holiday injuries. Physical therapy may play a positive role in your recovery if you do fall.
Physical therapy plays a pivotal role after a fall on ice by:
- Reducing pain through specialized treatments.
- Restoring lost function and mobility.
- Educating on fall prevention, ensuring the safety of the individual in icy conditions.
How can physical therapy help in your recovery from a holiday accident? To find out, read about The Therapy Network.
The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia
At The Therapy Network, we prioritize our patients. With six clinics spread across Hampton Roads, we offer flexible timings, accommodating appointments as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m.
Our therapists specialize in their fields, with each clinic boasting McKenzie-trained professionals. Appointments can be made effortlessly, even without a physician’s referral, often available on the same day. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit here.
To understand how physical therapy can enhance daily life, especially during the holiday season, look at our blog on Physical Therapy Improving Daily Life.
Remember, staying informed is the first step to prevent holiday injuries. Stay safe and enjoy the festivities!