Skip to main content

'Tis the season for accidents and injuries that send thousands of people to the emergency department each year.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) asked emergency physicians around the country what they typically see on a shift during the holidays, and here are some of the most common injuries to avoid in preparation for the festivities:   

Injuries while hanging holiday lights
Everyone gets excited to put holiday decorations up quickly, but during the 2019 holiday season, about 14,800 people were treated in emergency departments for holiday decorating-related injuries. Half of those involved a fall, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Be careful when decorating outside. Be mindful of the weather and slippery surfaces, and the risks that come with heights. If anyone must go on the roof, make sure they are familiar with ladder safety tips before they start to climb; inspect the ladder for damage before use, make sure it is planted on firm and level ground, and have another person hold it in place while anyone is climbing. Using the "buddy system" for these projects can be a lifesaver just in case anything goes wrong. A word to the wise, if alcohol is part of the holiday celebration, save the drinks until after the decorating is done.

Trees and decorating mishaps
Dry Christmas trees are a serious fire risk and that's one reason many people prefer fresh trees if they plan to keep a real tree in the house. For those who cut down their own tree, stray branches can cause serious eye injuries, so it is smart to wear protective gear. Sharp tools, axes or chainsaws should only be used by adults who are familiar with these tools or trained to use them properly. Those who attempt to channel their inner lumberjack may find it safer and more efficient to simply ask for help.

Once inside, be sure to keep the seasonal fir a safe distance away from heat sources, candles, or other flammable items. If selecting an artificial tree, look for a fire-resistant option when possible. Use care when decorating, badly sliced hands and feet from broken ornaments are some of the most common accidents each year. Keep sharp or fragile decorations away from children. Be careful retrieving decorations from dimly lit attics or high shelves. Exposed nails or wiring, low beams, and spots where footing may be uneven contribute to high injury risks.

Gifts can be dangerous, too
Wrapping paper is flammable so it is important to keep packages and paper products away from candles or the fireplace. Injuries with knives and scissors are common during the holidays and bad cuts can be avoided by opening presents with care. When giving gifts, choose toys that are age appropriate or match a child's abilities. For children under three, anything with small parts can be a choking hazard. For children under six, keep an eye on button batteries and avoid toys with small magnets—if they are swallowed, they can cause serious injury or death. Be sure to include a helmet and appropriate safety gear with bikes or scooters.

Kitchen dangers
More accidents happen in the kitchen than any other room in the house, emergency physicians say. Never leave the stove on unattended. Take your time while preparing meals and concentrate on the tasks at hand because knife lacerations, burns or spills that happen when people are rushing or distracted can be very painful. The professionals on the frontlines agree that deep-frying a turkey is one of the most delicious but dangerous holiday meals. Never put a frozen turkey into hot oil, that can cause a big explosion. Completely thaw the bird first, pat it dry and follow all the cooking instructions. 

"The holidays can be a wonderful time, but these are also some of the busiest days in the emergency department," said Gillian Schmitz, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP. "Make sure your holidays are memorable for the right reasons. A little bit of common sense and some safety precautions can go a long way toward making sure that you spend the holiday with loved ones instead of in the hospital."

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the national medical society representing emergency medicine. Through continuing education, research, public education, and advocacy, ACEP advances emergency care on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million Americans they treat on an annual basis. For more information, visit www.acep.org and www.emergencyphysicians.org

TOP Pageant News Now

Kenza Ameloot was crowned Miss Belgium 2024 for Miss Universe @ Mexico

The Miss Belgium 2024 Pageant is Streaming LIVE on Eclipse TV or on Sudinfo, Check Results Including Top 15

Winnipesaukee’s Teen, Kylie Laroche is crowned Miss New Hampshire's Teen 2024

Miss New Hampshire’s Teen 2024 Prelims Today on February 17th at 2pm and 7pm: Final on Feb 18th with 26 Contestants: Check Results

Alethea Ambrosio was crowned The Miss Philippines 2023, Now Appointed Miss Supranational Philippines 2024

Streaming Now Appointment of 2024 Miss Supranational Philippines, Miss Asia-Pacific Philippines, Miss Eco International Philippines, Miss Eco Teen Philippines, and Miss Aura Philippines Queens

The Top 16 Finalists Miss World Nicaragua 2024 Announced on February 17th

Joanna Johnson is crowned Miss Supranational United Kingdom 2024

Check Results and LIVE Streaming Miss Supranational United Kingdom 2024 from The Venue@DMU Leicester

The 26 Contestants Announced at CNB Ecuador 2024 for The 73RD Miss Universe Pageant in Mexico

Aleksandra Modic was crowned Miss World Germany 2024: Journey to Miss World @ India February 18th to March 9th

TV host Audrey Vanessa working hard to bring Miss World Crown for Indonesia

Leoné Renate van Jaarsveld departs India today on February 16th, 2024

Miss Brazil World 2024 @ CNB Brasil: New Dates are May 26-30, Coronation on May 29th

Klara Filizzola was crowned Miss Amazon World 2024

Miss World Cayman Islands 2022, Leanni Tibbetts will represents at Miss World in 2024

Ambar Zenteno was CROWNED Miss World Chile 2022, Now for Miss World in 2024 at India

Miss World China, Arabella Xu aka Kexin Xu will compete at Miss World in 2024, February 18th to March 9th

Miss World Cambodia, Srey Pich Teng Ready for Miss World @ India

Miss World Trinidad and Tobago, Aché Abrahams departs to India on February 16th

Miss World Cameroun, Julia Edima Heading to India on  February 17th from Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport, Cameroon

Lethbridge Woman, Miss World Canada Jaime VandenBerg Ready for Miss World Stage India on March 9, 2024

Miss World Bangladesh, Shammi Nila in Miss World 2024 Competition Mode

New Miss World Bulgaria 2023, Ivana Subeva Now Going India for Miss World Crown

Leticia Frota to compete for Brazil at the Jio World Convention Centre, The Miss World Stage

Kristen Wright Brings Australian Flag at The 11th Miss World Happening in India

The 11th Miss World Crown Journey of Lesego Chombo, Miss World Botswana: India Experience

Anđela Gajić Shining Bosnia & Herzegovina at The 11th Miss World in India

Miss World Bolivia Fernanda Rivero Ready To Compete at The 11th Miss World in India

Elise-Gayonne Vernon Miss World Belize Now India Bound to the 11 Miss World

Florinda José Miss World Angola now competing Miss World 2023 in India

Meet Elona Ndrecaj, Miss World Albania 2023, Check India Journey to Crown

The 71ST Miss World Updates Till February 9, 2024 Press Conference at New Delhi, India