Each Christmas, families gather together to open presents and enjoy a delicious meal. While the Christmas spirit is associated with pleasant and merry connotations, there is, unfortunately, a reason emergency rooms remain a popular Christmas destination. To help you avoid any preventable hospital visits, our Austin personal injury lawyers have created a list of 12 common (and avoidable!) holiday-related injuries.
Follow this guide to stay safe this holiday season:
- Be Careful While Driving: Between poor weather conditions and reckless drivers, it can be incredibly dangerous to travel on Christmas week. To stay safe, make sure your vehicle is in proper working order, keep your eyes on the road (no cell phones!), follow local and state traffic laws, don’t drive while intoxicated, and be way of pedestrians.
- Check Your Wires: The U.S. Fire Administration reports that holiday fires kill more than 400 Americans each year. These Christmas injuries and fatalities are often due to fires caused by holiday lights and Christmas trees. You can protect your home and family by taking proper safety precautions; for example, don’t use damaged wires and avoid overloading the electrical circuits.
- Choose the Right Tree: For many, Christmas Day isn’t complete without a brilliantly decorated tree. However, it’s important to take certain precautions if you want to avoid a fire. For instance, if you choose a live tree, make sure its branches aren’t dried out. If you have any questions about your tree-of-choice, you can ask an employee at the Christmas tree lot for guidance. It’s also important to place your tree far away from any fireplaces or furnaces. Alternatively, if you have a fake tree that you enjoy putting out each year, make sure the product and its decorations are nonflammable.
- Pick the Right Ornaments: Countless American families have turned Christmas tree decorating into a holiday tradition. After you drag out those old boxes of ornaments, make sure to carefully examine each item for cracks and other damages before handing them off to your unwary family members. Broken Christmas tree ornaments are responsible for thousands of cuts each year.
- Avoid Trips, Slips & Falls: Decorating the home is serious business for many Texas residents. Sadly, many people sustain grievous injuries when hanging up and taking down decorations. To avoid preventable falls, make sure your ladder is stable and that you’re working in a clear area. We also recommend having an assistant for your decorating endeavors. If an accident occurs, they can contact emergency services on your behalf.
- Watch Your Kids: Colorful decorations and wrapped presents light up a child’s Christmas spirit like nothing else can. At the same time, young children have a tendency to swallow small objects or stick them in places that necessitate emergency room visits. In fact, hundreds of children are rushed to hospitals each year because they swallowed ornaments, lights, magnets, and toys.
- Party Responsibly: Some people tend to go overboard when it comes to celebrating Christmas. If you’re hosting or attending a party this year, be careful to avoid drinking too much. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, catch a lift from a friend or hire a ride. Also, be wary of slipping on ice if your post-party coordination isn’t on point.
- Protect Your Back: Between lifting heavy boxes, trees, and Christmas displays, it’s easy to seriously injure your back. Try to avoid lifting heavy objects without a second set of hands. You don’t want to spend Christmas Day in bed!
- Put Down that Knife: An unfortunate number of people use kitchen knives to trim their Christmas trees and open presents. These kitchen utensils are certainly sharp enough to get the job done, but you might lose a finger in the process. Stick to safe and durable scissors.
- Use the Right Tools: Some decorations require a little more creativity than others. If you’re planning an elaborate lawn display or light show, make sure that you’re safely utilizing the proper construction tools.
- Pay Attention to the Weather: Before you prepare to travel or put up Christmas lights, check the weather report and consider your options. A vicious gust of wind can knock you off a ladder, so you may want to save decorating for a later date. It’s true that you may not have a choice when it comes to traveling, but make sure that you’re driving a safe vehicle that can handle the weather conditions.
- Be Wary of Poisonous Plants: Several popular holiday plans are poisonous for humans and pets. This list includes: holly, mistletoe, ivy, yew, and poinsettias. Adults and older children should handle these plants with gloves and wash their hands before consuming any food. If you have these plants in your home, keep a careful watch on your younger children.
Christmas, like any holiday, is not free from dangers. Even so, many risks associated with this holiday can be mitigated by exercising cautions.
Injured on Christmas? Contact Our Firm
At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, we hope that you have a safe and joyous holiday season. However, if you’re injured due to the negligent actions of another person or entity, contact our personal injury lawyers in Austin. We can investigate your case and help you recover damages that facilitate your physical and financial recovery process.
Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112 to schedule a consultation.