What does your holiday wishlist include this year? If you aren’t careful, it could include physical therapy at your New Orleans chiropractic clinic. Nobody wants to get hurt over the holiday season, yet injuries during this festive time of year are quite common. In fact, according to statistics, nearly 70,000 injuries will be reported this year due to holiday decorating alone.
We understand that there is so much to do this time of year, but that doesn’t mean it all can’t be accomplished safely. Here are a few common holiday injuries and safety tips to keep you out of the emergency room.
A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) concluded that nearly 6,000 Americans are treated each year for fall-related injuries associated with holiday decorations. Many of these accidents are caused by ladder incidents while others are caused by furniture, stairs and rooftops. The injuries from these types of accidents range from bruises and cuts to fractures and concussions.
When working on a ladder always remember one rule: Safety first. Since many holiday accidents occur while using a ladder, it would benefit you to follow these safety tips:
- Always place the ladder you will be utilizing on a surface that is flat and stable. If you don’t feel safe while climbing the ladder, it is best not to risk it. It is a good idea to trust your instincts.
- It is best if you find a willing person who can help you when you are using a ladder. It is safer to work in pairs, especially while reaching high up to place the star on the top of the tree.
- Make it a point to clean up around the area in which you will be decorating. This way, even if you do happen to fall, you won’t cause yourself more injuries landing on sharp or hard objects.
- If a ladder isn’t at disposal, many people prop themselves on furniture when doing their holiday decorating. As such, furniture falls are another reason people wind up hurt. At the very least, you should be using a stool instead.
Another common holiday injury during the holiday season involves electrical shock and happens mainly due to careless decorating. The CDC estimates that on average, 5,000 Americans are treated each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas for electrical shock from decorating. Injuries from electrical shock include burns, nerve and tissue destruction and even cardiac arrest. According to statistics, more than 20 percent of Americans go to bed every night or leave the house without turning off their holiday decorations. This is a dangerous practice that could result in tragedy.
As with other aspects of holiday decorating, it is necessary to follow safety precautions to best avoid mishaps. Here are a few things to consider:
- Never handle or even touch electrical wiring when you are wet.
- Use holiday lights from a reputable source.
- Never install electric lights on a metallic tree.
- LED lights are safer, burn cooler and last longer than incandescent lights.
- Make sure you use authentic extension cords that are in good condition.
- Never overload electrical sockets and make sure to turn off or unplug lights when not in use.
The holiday season is the time to travel. But it is also the season where lifting heavy luggage leads to back sprains and back pains. No joke, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission states that well over 50,000 luggage-related injuries occur each year during the holiday season.
If you aren’t careful, you could wind up hurting yourself just from carrying your luggage. Here are a few tips to avoid back injuries from carrying and otherwise handling your luggage:
- Shop the right kind of luggage. That is, shop for luggage that is sturdy, lightweight and high-quality. It makes perfect sense to buy luggage with wheels for easy handling.
- Don’t overpack, each piece of luggage should be packed lightly.
- When lifting your luggage, remember to bend your knees and lift with your legs rather than you back.
- If you are using a backpack, make sure to balance the weight on your shoulders. A backpack that is uneven is a backpack that can cause strain on your shoulders. If you are carrying a shoulder pack, balance things out by carrying one on the other shoulder too.
- If you are carrying a shoulder pack, balance things out by carrying one on the other shoulder too.
- When holding your luggage, keep it as close to your body as possible.
We kid you not, the CPSC reports that each year over 6,000 people are treated for package-related injuries. In other words, they cut themselves opening a holiday gift. So when the time has come to tear open those gifts, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Take your time. Keep calm and enjoy the process of opening holiday gifts.
- Avoid using your pocket knife or any other sharp object when opening gifts.
A game of touch football with the family can turn to disaster when dad pulls a hamstring or little Bobby gets knocked to the ground and suffers a concussion. Sports injuries are very common over the holiday season when families unite and their competitive nature takes over. Our best advice is to play nice and don’t overdo it. Leave the diving catches to the pros.
Without a doubt, there will be a ton of food consumed over the holidays. Everything from delectable roasted turkeys to mouth-watering hard candies, any number of these types of foods pose a choking hazard. Choking is especially a concern for those with young children. Make sure you take you time and chew properly so you don;t choke on your food. It is also important you make sure all holiday decorations are baby-proofed.
Christmas is one the busiest travel times of the year and many people will brave the harsh weather and road conditions to make it to grandma’s house. To make sure you get there safely, never drink and drive, make sure everybody is buckled up and take your time; getting there late is better than not arriving at all.