While it is certainly the season to be jolly, it is also one where exercising a little extra caution can be a good thing.
Emergency room visits tend to spike on major holidays in the U.S., and Christmas is no exception. A combination of factors contributes to the increase – from unusually high levels of food intake to drinking, sports, and live flames. Most emergency room visits get blamed on alcohol, but there are numerous others that have nothing to do with a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC).
Car accidents are another common cause, especially with so many families traveling to and from their homes.
By being more aware of the risks out there, you might be able to escape the statistics for the holiday season.
Common Reasons People Visit Philadelphia ERs during the Holidays
The holidays are here, and each year emergency rooms see a variety of injuries. The most common reasons for those visits include:
Holiday Decorating Injuries
Think of heights, icy rooftops, and electrical shocks, and you have your average Christmas decorating party. From falling off the ladder while hanging lights outside to toppling Christmas trees to minor shocks and electrical burns, holiday decorating is no joke.
Think twice before you climb a ladder, and only do so if someone is spotting you. If you cannot reach it, save it for another time or find a safer way to get the job done. If you need to access your roof as part of your holiday decorating, be careful about ice buildup. Rooftops are especially slick in Pennsylvania winters. And even if it has not yet snowed, there could be a sheet of ice up there with your name on it.
Never overload the outlets with Christmas lights. Read each light string’s instructions for the maximum number of connections you can have before adding more strings to the mix. Also, be cautious about the electrical load you are placing on your home.
Car or motorcycle accidents continue to be one of the leading causes for emergency room visits during the holidays. Sadly, drunk driving accidents are one of those types of accidents. Whether it is someone driving home from a Christmas party or one that had too many at New Year’s Eve, the number of DUI-related accidents is too high.
If you plan to drink at a holiday party, do so responsibly. Have a designated driver on-hand or call in for a ride.
Also, drive with extra caution. While you cannot predict the actions of other motorists, giving yourself more time to get to your holiday destination means fewer instances of speeding and allows you to drive more cautiously.
Burns are common around the holidays, especially involving cooking accidents, fireplaces, and live flame candles.
Some people still use live candles for their holiday decorations, and around small children, that can lead to trouble. Not only are these fire hazards in general, but a child can suffer a serious burn just reaching across a candle.
Unfortunately, the holidays are hip season in emergency rooms. With icy streets and slick surfaces, more people are likely to suffer from slip and falls on hard concrete surfaces or even down a set of concrete steps. For older adults, this might result in a hip fracture, which is a serious injury.
Even young adults can experience hip bruises, chips, fractures, and displacements. All of these are serious injuries that might require surgery and carry a long-term recovery period.
All the salt and sugar around the holidays can also lead to cardiac issues for those with pre-existing conditions, especially those with congestive heart failure. Too much sugar increases blood pressure and inflammation in the body. This stresses the heart and arteries, leading to a higher risk of heart attack.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The holiday season is also ski, snowboard, and outdoor season. You might go sledding with the family down a snow embankment or head to the resorts for skiing. With these outdoor activities comes an increased risk for head trauma, specifically a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Not all TBIs are fatal, but they still can lead to long-term deficits and complications.
Falls and inexperience while testing out new Christmas toys (e.g., bikes, scooters, or hoverboards) are another common reason for injuries. If you buy your child a new ride-on toy this season, make sure you buy a well-fitted helmet, too. Also, supervise them while they practice riding, and do not let them take it out if the weather is too poor for safe riding.
Food poisoning is another common cause of injury during the holiday season. Unfortunately, you cannot control how everyone else cooks their food, but make sure that you fully cook all foods in your house to the appropriate cooking temperature. Also, use caution when working with raw meats, including maintaining temperatures, cleaning up, and washing hands.
Also, do not leave food out. While you have a holiday party, the same rules of food safety apply. Leaving turkey, ham, and stuffing at room temperature for hours is a breeding ground for a foodborne illness.
When Holiday Injuries Are Caused by Someone Else
Some of these injuries people do to themselves, while others are caused by another person’s negligence. If you or a loved one is seriously injured this holiday season and your accident was caused by the negligence of another, speak with an attorney immediately.
An attorney serves as your advocate in situations like these. Furthermore, they work to secure the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back on track with your life.
After a serious injury, seek medical attention, right away. Then, contact an attorney to discuss your options.
For your case, consider Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. As an experienced personal injury attorney, he understands what you and your loved ones are going through. And he can help get the compensation you need for medical costs, lost wages, and more.
Call 800-465-8795 or 215-771-0430 (cell), or fill out the online contact form to get started with a free case evaluation.