Enjoying a beautiful December day in Lakes Park (Fort Myers, Florida). Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
The holidays are that time each year when people come together to celebrate, be merry, let bygones be bygones and love our neighbors.
As lovely as this sounds, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it is also one of the most dangerous times for our health and wellbeing!
You read that right.
Beneath all the tinsel, carefully wrapped presents and winter activities, there is a frenzy of injuries just waiting to happen.
Considering this revelation, I am taking a slightly different approach this week and taking it upon myself to expose the dangers of the holidays with the hopes of maximizing your joy and eliminating or at least minimizing your risk of harm and injury this season.
In 2017, 3.5 trillion was paid in national health expenditures, which was up 3.9% from the previous year.
Of those health care expenditures, nearly 10,000 involved injuries to children caused by electric hover boards, skate boards and bicycles.
Said injuries included head traumas/concussions, fractures and lacerations.
If you are gifting your little one a toy on wheels this holiday, gift them the proper safety gear and a helmet too.
It will save you time, energy and money in the ER and doctors office later.
The next danger to steer clear of is falling.
A study recent study by the CDC estimated that more than 5,800 men and women are injured in fall-related injuries attributed to holiday decorating or related activities.
These includes falling off ladders, roofs, furniture, stairs and porches.
Additional falling injuries come from tripping or slipping on holiday related objects such as extension cords, ornaments, tree skirts and snow or ice for those headed up north this season.
Finally, with the festive time of year also comes winter trips and winter sports.
This can also mean winter injuries.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission reported more than 220,000 people were treated in 2017 at hospitals, doctors' offices, and emergency rooms.
So, what can you do to stay safe this holiday season and avoid becoming a statistic?
Invest in proper fitting safety equipment for any sport you do.
From hoover boards to snow skiing, properly fitted safety equipment can keep you out of the ER and enjoying your festivities as they are meant to be.
Use a step-ladder to hang decorations - not a chair, or worse still, a chair on a table. Ensure your Christmas tree has a sturdy base to stop it toppling over.
If your tree has lights, run the power cord to it along the wall, not across the floor to prevent trips/falls.
A few minutes of evaluation (is this safe? What equipment do I need?) and a concerted effort to stay safe will help you avoid potential injuries and allow you the freedom to come together to celebrate and stay merry.
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