It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It also happens to be the time of the year where people get injured – sometimes by things you may not assume could be the cause of injuries, such as holiday decorations.
The truth is that thousands of people are injured by holiday decorations each year. That’s why it’s vital to understand the hazards this holiday season and how to protect yourself. Read on to find out how to avoid injury while still showing your holiday spirit this year!
Stringing up all that garland or reaching for the highest branch of the tree can put stress and strain on your back, which can result in injuries. Plus, picking up heavy objects improperly, moving furniture around to make space for your family get-together, or even taking your presents to the car can lead to sprains and strains – or worse.
Make sure you know how to lift properly by keeping objects as close to your body as possible. Use the power of your legs and hips to lift, never your back. Get help if an object is too heavy, and use a step stool or a ladder to reach those high places.
Speaking of decorations, all those twinkle lights may be pretty, but they also pose a holiday hazard in the form of electrical shocks! These shocks can lead to burns and tissue damage. In some rare cases, the electrical current may be so significant that it can lead to cardiac arrest.
Take a moment to inspect your holiday lights before putting them up. Get rid of anything that is frayed or damaged, and make sure not to overload your outlets.
Never keep your holiday lights plugged in when you’re sleeping or when you leave your house.
Speaking of leaving lights on, all those holiday decorations can lead to another hazard with disastrous consequences: fires.
Dried-out Christmas trees, candles, and holiday cooking are all potential fire hazards, so you must take care. Keep your tree watered and away from heat – and decorate it only with lights that aren’t damaged.
When you have your favorite holiday candle burning, keep it away from the tree as well as pets and children. It’s a good idea to set them away from curtains, other decorations, and furniture, too. Never leave a candle burning unattended. And, in the kitchen, always monitor open flames.
Slip and fall accidents may be something that you think you don’t have to worry about in Florida, since it basically take a Christmas miracle for snow to fall here. But it’s not just snow that creates hazardous conditions which can lead to slip and fall accidents.
Holiday decorations account for almost 6,000 slip and fall injuries each year. Some of the most common types of falls associated with holiday decorating involve hanging lights or decorations on the house, standing on furniture to hang up décor, or tripping over cords or other objects like extension cords, ornaments, or tree skirts.
You should take precautions to avoid these types of accidents in your home this holiday. You can make sure that:
- Any ladders in use are secure and on level ground
- Someone spots you when you’re using a ladder
- You don’t overreach when putting something up
- You keep extension cords or other objects out of your walking path
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.