HomeHealth Topics A to Z5 Holiday Dangers to Avoid this Season
Health Topics

5 Holiday Dangers to Avoid this Season

By DuPage Medical Group

The holidays are a joyful time of year and should be spent with the ones you love, not in the emergency room. Approximately 13,000 people will visit an emergency room this season due to holiday-related injuries. Let us help ensure you and your family remain safe this season by brushing up on common holiday dangers.

  • Snow & Ice
    Snow and ice are familiar winter accessories in the Chicagoland area, and are the cause of many emergency room visits each year. It’s important to keep all sidewalks and steps clear to best prevent slips and falls. This can be accomplished by shoveling snow and laying salt on the remaining icy areas. When shoveling snow, remember to bend from your knees and lift with your legs to avoid pulling back muscles, as this can feel just as painful as a fall.
  • Ladder Falls
    More than half a million people are injured from falling off of ladders every year. When decorating for the holidays this season, don’t do it alone. Make sure to position your ladder on even ground and have a friend or family member assist you by holding it steady. To prevent the ladder from wobbling, remember to climb the ladder using both hands to hold on and try not to overextend yourself.
  • Holiday Fires
    ‘Tis the season to fill your home with beautiful twinkling lights and scented candles – and, as a result, it’s the peak time of year for house fires. When decorating your home this year, inspect all light strands for frayed wires and loose connections, and make sure to use the proper indoor or outdoor extension cords. Turn off all lights when you leave the house as well as at night to help prevent fires. Since candle-related house fires are a common occurrence, don’t leave candles burning unattended and place them only on stable, heat-resistant surfaces.
  • Problematic Packaging
    It wouldn’t be the holidays without gift giving and the nearly impossible-to-open plastic packaging that goes along with it. A vast percentage of holiday-related emergency room visits are a result of these impenetrable packages and the tactics used to open them. If you have to use scissors or knives, be sure to cut with the blades facing away from your body to avoid accidental stabbing.
  • Poisonous Plants
    Decorating your home with holiday favorites like mistletoe and holly berries is a fun and festive way to spread cheer this season. However, these plants are poisonous if swallowed and should be kept away from small children and pets. While poinsettias and Christmas cacti are not poisonous, they can both cause serious stomach irritation and should also be removed from areas frequented by little ones and family pets. 

Topics and Subtopics: General Health

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