What do you imagine when you think of the winter holidays? Most people imagine good cheer, spending time with loved ones, and holiday traditions. However, as people gather to feast and celebrate together, the risk of ending the holidays in the hospital also increases.
Amidst the holiday cheer lurks the risk of holiday mishaps. In 2013, the CPSC Acting Chairman estimated that there were 250 injuries a day during the holiday season. Hospitals are busiest during the holidays, so what can you do to prevent yourself from decking the hospital halls this holiday? Here are some common holiday injuries and ways you can avoid them.
Pudding Up with Food Related Illnesses and Injuries
Some of the common reasons people end up in the emergency department during the holiday season is due to food. People take the holidays as an opportunity to cook foods using methods they usually don’t use. Unfortunately, this could lead to severe burns or serious cuts from food preparation and plating. You might want to take out your extra sharp blades for this event, but be careful when you’re slicing or you might end up in a grave-y situation.
Additionally, some people like to use new ingredients that can result in allergic reactions. A little bit of thyme and rosemary can spruce up a meal, but do you know if there’s anyone allergic to it? Food poisoning can also occur since many leave the food out during the celebration. Ask ahead of time to find out if any guests have severe allergies and make sure to refrigerate food or maintain them above 140 degrees Fahrenheit so yule have no regrets.
A Wine-derful Time or Disaster Waiting to Strike?
Celebrating the holidays with a glass of wine or champagne is a common event for most people. However, alcohol is a common factor in hospital injuries during the holidays. During the holidays, alcohol-related crashes become more common, especially as people travel to family or friend’s houses. It might be a (cham)pagne, but ensure you have a plan to get home safely!
Social binge drinking is also more common during the holidays, and alcohol can lead to slip and fall accidents as well as alcohol poisoning. Being inebriated might also lead people to act in ways they normally don’t, so try not to egg(nog) your relatives into a competition or a fight.
Tree-mendous Holiday Decorations
Holiday decorations are another venue for injuries to occur. Be careful if you decide to hang decorations in high places or if you have fragile ornaments. Keep animals and young children away from ornaments that can easily break so they don’t wreath havoc and get injured. In addition to that, a lot of people like to use candles or light up the fireplace, which creates a fire hazard. Don’t end your holiday short due to a wayward fire!
You might also like to decorate your house with winter plants such as mistletoe or poinsettias, which are actually harmful to small children and pets. These festive yet poisonous plants can lead to vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and sometimes even death. If you choose to display these plants, make sure you keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Treat yo’elf to Some Gifts…Carefully
Maybe most of the injuries you might sustain while opening gifts aren’t severe enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, but make sure you keep an eye on the little ones! Many gifts come with choking hazards, and children have a way of getting to things they shouldn’t. Keep all the sharp objects used to open gifts away from their reach and watch out for those little bits and pieces in their gifts.
Don’t Fir-get the Pandemic
With the pandemic still going on strong, make sure you minimize COVID-19 risk while you celebrate. With holiday gatherings comes an increase risk in transmitting the virus. In fact, in the US, there was an increase of 200k positive COVID results after Thanksgiving.
To minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19, wear your mask if you are indoors and avoid crowded spaces. If you are sick or if you are experiencing any symptoms, don’t host or attend holiday festivities until you get tested. We don’t want myrrh COVID cases this holiday!
Happy Holidays from AHEC!
Although the holidays bring a risk of danger, most people celebrate the holidays while remaining unscathed. Keeping an eye out for these danger zones will ensure you have a fun and safe holiday. Share this article and keep your loved ones safe as well!
AHEC wants to wish you a happy holidays! Stay healthy, stay safe, stay educated, and keep the hospital free from your glorious presence.