Holiday accidents don’t end on Christmas Day


Taking down decorations can be as hazardous as putting them up

By now most holiday decorations have been put up, but after the holidays they’ll all come down. And while plenty of decoration-related accidents occur before Christmas and New Year's, nearly as many occur afterward.

USA Facts reports that each year more than 18,000 people make an unplanned trip to the emergency room because of accidents with Christmas decorations. Most occur right after Thanksgiving as Americans begin to decorate their homes.

The research shows a diversity of accidents, from people swallowing Christmas ornaments and other decorations to falling from a ladder while stringing lights. And while on the subject of Christmas lights, consider replacing them when they get old.

Old lights can present a fire hazard if their cords are worn or frayed. LED Christmas lights are generally safer – they don’t get hot and they’re also more energy efficient. 

There have also been plenty of reports of burns from candles on a menorah or from biting into a hot deep-fried donut. And while candles can add to the holiday spirit, they are also the cause of some holiday house fires. Make sure all candles are extinguished before turning in for the night.

The alcohol factor

For some, binging on alcoholic drinks can induce atrial fibrillation, leading to a condition known as “holiday heart syndrome.”

In many cases, an over-indulgence in alcohol plays a role in holiday mishaps. It’s best to leave the celebrating until after the decorations are up, especially if a ladder is involved.

And it goes without saying that alcohol is to be avoided before making the drive to Grandma’s house. On heavy travel days, it’s better to not drive at all if it can be avoided.

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