First Aid Handbook: Holiday Decorating Injuries

a girl decorates a christmas tree
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Along with the extra hustle and bustle of the holidays comes an increased likelihood that injuries will occur. People are distracted, moving quickly, gathered together in closer quarters, and often times over caffeinated and loaded down with sugary treats. Integrity Urgent Care has a few ways to avoid some of the most common holiday injuries because, as much as we love our clients, we don’t want you to miss out on any time with family and friends!

Climbing Ladders

These tips are pretty applicable at any time of year, but the increased number of people climbing ladders for decorating means more trips to the doctor. Almost 1/3 of the decorating injuries involve falling off a ladder according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. By making sure your ladder is in good working order, that all the rungs are tight and the weight limit is appropriate, you will ensure a large amount of safety in a few quick moments. Having help to hold the ladder steady and to make sure you aren’t tempted to “hop” the ladder over a few steps can be beneficial as well. If you do fall, come see us if you suspect a broken bone or head injury, or if a child or someone who is elderly has fallen.

Open Flames

It is tempting to be less cautious with candles since the fire seems relatively contained, but the little flicker of warmth can cause large issues if knocked over, left unattended, or bumped into by a person, especially a child. By using candle holders that are substantial or are made in large glass jars, you reduce the risk of fire. Be sure to keep children away from any flames and tie back hair or loose clothing articles when nearby. If you or someone in your home gets burned, hold the burn under cool water to relieve some of the pain before evaluating if you need to come see us.

Lighting Trees

While the days of placing candles on trees to light them is generally a trend of the past, there is still a large risk of fire occurring from the electric lights on your tree. Inspect all wires and sockets for loose or frayed connections. Don’t hook more than three sets of lights together per single extension cord and check the manufacturer’s recommendations for all other lit décor like garland or wreaths. Lights like these need monitoring, so turn them off before leaving the house and check your usage, many sets aren’t designed to be used year-round or for too many years in a row. If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately, make sure your children and others are out of the home, and use a fire extinguisher according to instructions.

Other Décor

There is other décor that is just as dangerous and hazardous for the health of your family:

  • “Angel Hair” can irritate your eyes and skin, please monitor children around this decoration because it is made from spun glass.
  • Artificial snow can irritate your lungs, please consider the instructions before use.
  • Ornaments that are fragile should be moved to the top of the tree if kids or pets are around the tree. Not only do we want your memories to be preserved, we want to avoid any cuts or accidental ingestion of ornament shards.
  • Plants like poinsettias are poisonous for kids and pets. Monitor when they drop their leaves and keep them out of reach.

Drinking and Decorating

Many choose to partake in adult beverages during the holiday season. It can be a way to share and enjoy fellowship with others. However, it can be easy to overindulge making reaction time and decision making inhibited. Carlos Roldan, an ER doctor and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians claims people “try to decorate when they’re drunk. And the next thing you know, we see them.” We don’t know if people need a designated decorator, but make good decisions to stay safe in any setting during the holiday season!

If these, or other injuries come your way in the next few weeks, we are ready to meet your needs. These tips are still in place for taking down decorations, too! Visit any of our four convenient urgent care locations from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. We will help take care of you and get you back to decorating in no time.

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