The holidays are all fun and games until someone gets hurt. With all the hype and demands surrounding Christmas time, it’s no surprise that thousands of people are injured every year from falling off a ladder while stringing lights or cutting their finger while carving a turkey. With a little more patience and a lot more caution, everyone could drastically reduce their chances of holiday-related injuries. Here are holiday-related injuries that are surprisingly common:
Back Injuries caused by Lifting:
Poorly lifting the tree, frequently climbing ladders and lifting various heavy objects, as is common with Christmas decorating and un-decorating, can lead to severe back injuries. The resulting pain can be acute and short lived, but often times can become chronic and a terrible pain to deal with. Have a lifting partner to ensure that the significant weight of the tree and other heavy objects is properly and evenly distributed between multiple people. Lift using your legs to ensure that the strain is taken off of your back in order to prevent possible major chronic back injuries.
Falls are very common around the holidays, when people go to great heights to decorate their Christmas trees and put up lights. When decorating, use step stools instead of furniture and take precaution when stepping onto a ladder. Ladder injuries can be prevented by making sure the ladder is on solid ground and having a helper hold the ladder still while you are on it.
A good clean game of football or cricket with the family can turn dangerous when someone pulls their hamstring or is concussed after a hard-hitting tackle. Sports injuries are very common around the holidays when families get together and challenge each other to a competitive game. Even playtime for kids can result in injuries, like bruises, cuts and broken bones. If you’re going to play sports this holiday season, make sure you play nice and don’t overexert yourself to avoid unintentional injuries.
It’s a dangerous gamble buying your kids a skateboard, rollerblades or surfboard, purely because dad sees it as an opportunity to show the kids how it’s done. Around this time people, especially males, do things they used to do 20 years ago. Simple advice is, just take it a little bit slower and take a deep breath and learn to say no. There are misadventures when people are having fun and something silly happens. It goes very quickly from something silly to something fractured, then it’s not funny anymore.
Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of the year. As more people hit the roads to go out of town, the greater the risk for car accidents and car-related injuries. Not to mention, there are more impaired drivers out on the road during the holidays than the rest of the year. Whiplash, lacerations, bruises and broken bones are just some of the car-related injuries that can happen to drivers who’ve been in a car crash. In order to prevent car accidents, you can make sure you and your family and friends always have a designated driver after drinking, and avoid the roads late at night and during high traffic times. Also, make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up at all times and young children are traveling in the correct car seats.
With the amount of food being ingested and the small trinkets that kids get their hands on, it’s no wonder why choking is one of the biggest injuries during the holidays. Choking is a serious concern for families with small children and caution should be taken to make sure all of your holiday decorations are baby-proofed. As tempting as it is to gobble down those holiday meals, make sure you take your time to chew and swallow properly so you don’t choke on your food.
Christmas is meant to be a joyous and wonderful time, but can be quickly ruined by an injury. By taking extra preventive measures to ensure that you enjoy the holidays safely, you can prevent injuries, property damage and even death. So before plugging in those lights, hoisting the tree or removing decorations, be sure to follow the steps and tips provided.
Stretch of the Month
Water Exercise/Leg Lifts
Stand in the pool next to the side wall with one hand on the edge.
- Raise one straight leg slowly to the front
- Lower slowly to the starting position
- 5 repetitions per leg
Memories at Christmas
No matter how stressful the food preparation or how difficult the relatives, remember the time you heard the bells on the sleigh. Remember the teeth marks in the carrot you left out for Santa’s reindeer, and how Santa always ate the piece of cake you placed for him on a saucer. Remember, how 1 year the gift tags weren’t in your mum’s handwriting. She asked her friend to write them all to give you one more year of Christmas magic. Hold on to that Christmas memory.