♫ It’s the most wound-er-ful time of the year! ♫
Each year thousands of people are injured during the holidays. So while you are enjoying a holly jolly season, it’s important to always remember, safety first. Here are a few reminders to consider while working through your pre-holiday to-do list:
Never drink and decorate
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some adult beverages, but overindulging while decorating sends plenty of celebrants to the emergency room each year. Some of the most common injuries during the holiday season are caused by “alcohol-and” accidents: alcohol and a motor vehicle; alcohol and icy walkways; alcohol and sharp objects. Alcohol consumption when climbing ladders can quickly lead to injury or death, and decorating at night while knocking back a few is a recipe for disaster.
Climb with care
Speaking of ladders, about 33 percent of holiday decorating injuries are caused by falls from ladders. About 6,000 people are treated in emergency rooms every year for holiday decorating-related falls — usually when stringing up lights or taking them down, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Holiday candles are among the top causes of fire-related injuries and responsible for 2,200-holiday deaths a year, according to the National Safety Council. Half of the December home fires are started by candles, so be sure to keep an eye on those warm & cozy flames.
If you choose to purchase a real Christmas tree this holiday season, don’t forget that it too needs maintenance. A dry tree can easily catch on fire. So, you should check the water level every day to make sure your tree doesn’t dry up and put you and your family in serious danger.
Beware vintage & antique decorations
The holidays are often a time when people bring out baubles from Christmas past, but beware, some of those trimmings can be downright terrifying:
- Fake snow products: In the 1940s, fake snow was often made out of asbestos. Yes, the cancer-causing mineral used for insulation that we now spend a fortune to remove from our basements & attics.
- Tinsel: Lead was the material of choice for old-school tinsel, because unlike silver, it didn’t tarnish.
- Aluminum trees: All the rage again, but owners could be in for a shock if they miss warnings not to use these conductive trees with electric string lights.
- Bubble lights: Many contained methylene chloride that if swallowed or absorbed through the skin converts to carbon monoxide inside the body.
Cutting & trimming the tree
Serious wounds have been reported by people trying to trim their trees using a chainsaw, hacksaw, or even just a sharp box cutter. It’s recommended to keep your body parts out of the way of any sharp objects. And it’s not just tree-trimming that can be dangerous. If you open a gift using a pocket knife or box cutter, be extra careful and ensure the blade is going away from you while cutting.