The Most Common Holiday Accidents
Holidays are full of cheer, laughter and mayhem. Between gift shopping, decorating and deciding what to wear to your fourth holiday party, there’s no end to the risky holiday situations. So, before you get ambitious hanging those glittering tendrils of tinsel, keep reading for some handy tips on how to avoid common holiday injuries.
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Avoiding Decorating Disasters
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…but just how careful were you? According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), over 1,700 persons visited the hospital between 2011-2015 to treat holiday-related injuries.1 Twelve hundred of these injuries were directly related to decorations.
Here are a few, anonymous, examples of the records from some of these hospital visits:
- 28-year-old male was finishing up a Christmas project and injured finger using a nail gun
- 33-year-old male standing on stool hanging Christmas light when fell backward striking head onto a tv stand
- 43-year-old female electric shock – grabbed a metal pole while removing Christmas lights at home
The most common variety of injury was laceration, with 327 instances of lacerations severe enough to warrant a hospital visit. These are closely followed by strains and sprains (291), which are followed by contusions and abrasions (247).
The common denominator connecting these accidents is holiday cheer (or stress). You have a lot on your plate during the holidays, but you should remember to take it slow while hanging your lights, decorating the tree and blowing up your giant, inflatable snow globes.
Staying Safe on Wintery Roads
Your niece may have asked for the newest model of Hot Wheels this holiday season, but that doesn’t give you a reason to do a burnout on your way to the mall.
In all seriousness, even though Christmas is statistically one of the less dangerous holidays to be a commuter, it still ranks as one of the most dangerous weekends to be on the road. Here are a few reasons why accidents increase during the holidays.
This one’s a simple numbers game. The more cars on the road, the higher the likelihood of a car accident. While you’re traveling this holiday season, take care to always be aware of your surroundings, and abide by all traffic laws and speed limits.
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Statistically, an average of 300 people die in drunk driving accidents between Christmas and New Year. There’s never an excuse to get in your car after you’ve been drinking. Have a plan! Assign a Designated Driver. Order a ride-share service or Taxi. Whatever you do, stay safe and responsible this holiday season.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, 17% of all vehicle crashes occur during winter weather conditions.3 The highest percentage of drivers (41%) speeding in fatal crashes occurred on icy or frosty roads.4 Black ice is a tricky foe, especially at night. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to make your trip a little safer.
- Increase Your Following Distance: It takes longer than 4 seconds to come to a complete stop while driving 55mph on a dry road, and even longer to stop in wintery conditions.5 Increase your following time by one second while driving on icy or slippery roads.
- Know Your Car: You wouldn’t drive with a flat tire. So, don’t bring your defective car to wintery roads. Make sure your car is in tip-top condition before risking a holiday commute. Your family will thank you!
- Decrease Your Speed: This one seems obvious, but it’s worth stating over and over again. It’s simply safer to drive slower in wintery conditions.
Chaos on the Menu: Holiday Kitchen Mishaps
The turkey’s been thawing for over an hour and it’s still frozen solid. What do you do now? Throw it on the counter, of course! The warmer temperature should help move that bird right along. Or, if that doesn’t work, hacking it into smaller pieces might? Kitchen injuries can turn a holiday feast into a holiday fiasco.
There is no such thing as “medium rare” chicken or turkey. Always cook your food to the recommended temperature. When thawing your bird, keep it in the refrigerator or cold-water bath to prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria.
Know Your Utensils
Before haphazardly chopping at carrots or pie, make sure you’re employing the correct cutting techniques. It sounds like a little extra effort but implementing proper safety measures will make a world of difference.
- For Cuts: If you do cut yourself, clean the wound lightly and assess the damage. If it’s deep enough to expose flesh or bone, or the area is numb, it may be in your best interest to visit the hospital. For shallower cuts, apply an antibacterial ointment and a bandage.
Keeping Kids Safe During the Holidays
There are plenty of sharp utensils in the kitchen, and the most important thing you can do is to use them properly and keep them out of the hands of children. It can be difficult to keep an eye on the little ones during holiday mayhem, so it’s important for the family to develop a game plan as to how to educate the kids and keep them safe.
Educate Your Children
Before the holidays begin, educate your children on the items they are allowed to touch and the items that are off-limits.
Hide the Knives
You can’t hide your oven, but you can make sure that all of the sharp, pointy utensils are safely sequestered away in child-proof drawers.
A tempting pie in the oven might be just the motivation your kid needs to reach inside. Always keep hot pots and pans out of the reach of curious, little fingers. And if your child is especially curious, it never hurts to remove the knobs on your stove (when the stove is not in use).
Happy Holidays from the Isaacs & Isaacs Team!
Happy holidays to you from all of us at Isaacs and Isaacs! We hope you have a fun, safe holiday full of family and good cheer. And if you run into any holiday mishaps that require the support of a personal injury attorney, call Isaacs & Isaacs at 1-800-800-8888.
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Louisville, KY 40299