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Eat. Drink. and Be Careful.

Photo Courtesy of Free-extras.com

Photo Courtesy of Free-extras.com

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission 12,500 people go to the hospital emergency room each year for falls, cuts, shocks, and burns relating to holiday decorating.  Below is a list of some of the most common accidents during the holiday season and ways to avoid them.

1.     Holiday Fires

According to the United States Fire Administration each year holiday fires claim over 400 lives, injure 1,650 others and cause million of dollars worth of damages. Christmas trees account for 250 fires annually and are usually caused by the trees exposure to shorted electrical lights or candle flames. An easy way to make sure your tree does not catch fire is to make sure the tree is properly watered or if you own an artificial tree make sure it is flame retardant.  All tree decorations should be inflammable or flame resistant.

Holiday lights should be checked every year for frayed wires and bare spots and you should never link more than 3 wires unless the directions indicate it is safe.  Once the lights are plugged in, periodically check the wires to make sure they are not warm to the touch.

For more holiday fire safety tips from the US Fire Administration Visit: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/index.shtml 

Photo Courtesy of Pitch.com

Photo Courtesy of Pitch.com

 

2.   Falls

Falls are the second most common cause of traumatic death and are usually associated with the elderly. During the holiday season there is an increase in injuries due to falling in the age group of 20-49. The leading cause of falling injuries are ladder falls, followed by roof falls, furniture falls, and stair falls. 

To prevent accidents while decorating, the best strategy is to use your common sense. Instead of trying to balance yourself on furniture use a step stool. When using a ladder make sure the ladder is secure before climbing on it. Most importantly do not be afraid to ask for help.

For more safety tips for decorarting visit: http://men.webmd.com/news/20041209/holiday-decorating-can-land-you-in-er or

http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml07/07046.html

3.       Car Accidents

According to the CDC more than 2.3 million Americans were treated in the emergency room in 2009 as a result of motor vehicle accidents, making motor vehicle crashes the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 5 to 34. Driving during the holiday season is especially dangerous. The winter holidays, particularly New Years, are associated with excessive drinking. Drinking is involved in 1 of 3 automobile crash deaths. It is illegal, and dangerous, to drive with a blood alcohol concentration over .08%. So if you plan on partying and drinking, have a designated driver, use public transportation, or plan to stay overnight.

Another peril while driving during the winter holidays are winter hazards like snow and ice. Drivers need to be careful and observant of their surroundings while driving. Driving is especially dangerous at night, which is when most crashes occur. If you are planning on driving make sure to wear a seatbelt, and be aware of your fellow drivers, because they may be driving drunk.

 

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 20:35

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