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Girl decorating beautiful Christmas tree with stars while her father holds her.

How to stay safe during the holidays and avoid common injuries

Avoiding Common Injuries

It’s the most delightful time of the year — unless you end up in a hospital emergency room while preparing for or participating in it.

From ladder falls to pedestrian accidents in a parking lot, an experienced WEIERLAW attorney understands how life-changing these events can be.

In a single year, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 18,400 reported injuries among those who are decorating for the holidays. Many of the injuries occurred due to serious falls while hanging lights or other decorations from roofs or trees. As a result, many suffered from injuries like strains, sprains, and lacerations. Unfortunately, there are deaths linked to accidental falls during every holiday season.

In addition, the CPSC reported 100 Christmas tree fires, with 10 deaths, 10 injuries, and $12 million in property damage. There are also 20 injuries from eating the wrong foods, as well as dozens of burn injuries from cooking holiday feasts.

Drunk driving incidents caused by motorists overindulging at holiday parties can result in injuries on the road. Pedestrian accidents often happen at shopping malls, crosswalks, and other high-traffic areas, and are frequently caused by distracted, rushed, or exhausted drivers.

Some of these injuries may be completely covered by your health insurance. If your injuries are serious and you believe someone’s negligence was at least partially to blame for what happened, you should consult a WEIERLAW Injury Attorney.

Staying Safe During the Holidays

Due of the number of injuries incurred during holiday celebrations or while preparing for them, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has put up a list of safety guidelines.

The following are common areas to be careful about:

Ladder Safety: Every year, it is estimated that 566,000 Americans are wounded in ladder falls during the holidays. Before you use any ladder, make sure it is free of loose rungs, hinges, or screws. Do not use a ladder that has been damaged! Even if you are not climbing very high, you can get significant injuries. Even if you must move debris to do so, make sure your ladder is on level ground. Bring a spotter with you – and don’t go too far!

Travel Safety: Annually, it is estimated that 84,000 people are treated for luggage-related injuries. If possible, travel lightly and efficiently. Instead of lifting with your back, use your leg muscles. Carry duffel bags on your dominant shoulder and evenly distribute the weight of book bags.

Walking Safety: Most people take walking for granted, but if you’re distracted or in a hurry, you’re more likely to sustain an injury. After dark, walk defensively to be aware of your surroundings. If you need to text or call someone, make sure you do so once you’re out of the danger zone of motor vehicle traffic and the flow of pedestrian traffic. Therefore, you can hear what is going on around you. If you are walking with headphones on, then jaywalking should be avoided.

Tree Safety: If you’re going to buy a live Christmas tree, make sure it is green, fresh, and well-watered to avoid fires. Artificial trees should be labeled as “fire-resistant.” This will not prevent the tree from catching fire, but it will make it more heat resistant. Ensure that all your smoke alarms are in good operating order. Keep your tree away from heat sources, and if you’re decorating with kids, avoid giving them sharp/breakable objects or decorations with small/removable bits that they could choke on.

Drinking and Driving: This is a gift that is provided all year. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the United States, drunk drivers are involved in 40% of traffic-related deaths between Christmas and New Year’s Day, which is 12% more than the whole of December. In the three days leading up to Christmas, the fatalities rise to 45 %, and in the days leading up to New Year’s, the deaths rise to 54%.

WEIERLAW Personal Injury Attorneys wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and remind everyone that the best holiday traditions begin with safety. Also, please contact a WEIERLAW Injury Attorney if you have been hurt in an accident and are needing legal assistance on your next steps.

Additional Resources:
CPSC and NIST Team Up to Demonstrate Holiday Decorating Hazards

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