May your holidays be joyful… and safe.

May your holidays be joyful… and safe.

For most of us, the holidays tend to be a time for more… More decorations, more traditions, more food, more family, more parties, more fun. And with all those joyous family gatherings, festive decorations and elaborate dinners, it’s important to be extra careful while enjoying the most wonderful time of the year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 5,800 people per year visit the emergency room due to decorating-related falls. And most of those occur while hanging lights on the house, attempting to put decorations on the Christmas tree, and then removing these same decorations at season’s end.

Of course, no one is suggesting you skip the twinkling lights or the tinsel-covered trees. But it’s important to keep in mind that some of the most common injuries around the holidays are broken bones from falling while hanging and removing holiday decorations. Other injuries might be a little more unusual. Dropped frozen turkeys have been known to cause crushed toes. Overzealous shoppers, especially on Black Friday, may cause broken bones due to crowd rushes and runaway shopping carts. And slips and falls due to snow, ice and other slippery surfaces can cause anything from sprained ankles to head trauma.

Staying Safe This Season
Don’t let injuries take the joy out of your holidays. With a few extra precautions, you can have a safe, happy holiday season. Here are just a few suggestions:
Climb safely
Always use a sturdy ladder while hanging lights – inside or outside – and when decorating trees. The arm of a sofa or a dining room chair may be more accessible, but they are also less safe. Be sure the ladder is set on a flat, even surface, and avoid using the top two rungs of the ladder. Make sure you have the right ladder for the job, too, so you can avoid stretching beyond your reach.
Tread carefully
To prevent slips and falls on wet or icy surfaces, be sure to wear appropriate footwear for winter weather. Wearing shoes with rubber soles gives you better traction and is one of the easiest ways to prevent slipping.
Choose the right tool for the job
Whether you’re assembling holiday gifts or hanging wreaths, take the time to find the right tool for the job at hand. Substituting scissors for a box cutter – or using a screwdriver handle as a hammer – can be risky and even dangerous. The extra time you spend locating the right tool could save you a trip to the emergency room.
Stay on top of pains and injuries
If you find yourself injured or in pain over the holidays, don’t wait to seek treatment. Joint injuries or pain from repetitive motion are best and most effectively treated early. And if you’re going into the holiday season with existing problems, a quick visit to your doctor could help you avoid reinjury entirely.

Seek expert care

Since 1972, the specialists at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine have been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine, joint replacement and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury and help put your life back in motion.

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