The 4 Most Common Holiday Accidents

The 4 Most Common Holiday Accidents

November 12, 2013
by Michael Barber
The 4 Most Common Holiday Accidents

Urgent care centers are staffed with nurses and doctors who look to the holidays with a mix of anticipation and exasperation. In spite of frequent warnings and safety cautions, they still see the yearly parade of hurt revelers. Many of these injuries could be avoided.

Related: Accident Prone: Common Holiday Accidents [INFOGRAPHIC]

1. Accidental Poisonings

You are cooking with unknown spices and hanging up decorative plants with unknown qualities. While you might not be able to tell apart holly berries from Jerusalem cherries, neither one of them should be put inside your holiday stew. It's a good idea to know which plants are poisonous to kids, adults and even pets this holiday season.

2. Burns

Walk-in clinics are filled with holiday cooks who got burned at the stove, hobby decorators who got an electrical burn, and those who planned an elaborate candle display only to be faced with an accidental fire. As a general rule of thumb, keep candles out of reach of pets and children. In some cases, this might mean opting for the electrical ones rather than the wax versions. 

Ask for help. It is easy to get stressed, frazzled or super busy and make bad decisions when in a hurry. Ask for help with planning, hosting and cleaning up your holiday parties and events.

Related: Fire Safety Is So Hot Right Now

3. Falls

Why did you climb on the roof? Sure, you intended to place the plastic light-up Santa Claus in position, but was it really worth the broken ankle or sprained shoulder? If there is snow on the roof or you generally get squeamish when you reach the top three rungs of the ladder, hire someone to do the setup for you. Use common sense. If you do not usually add 10 appliances to your home's circuitry, do not do it over the holidays. If you do not usually climb up onto the roof for regular maintenance, do not do it in the winter to add decorations.

4. Car Accidents

It seems like everyone who is not cooking is on the road to somewhere. In some cases, this includes drivers from warmer climates who are now driving in the snow for the first time. Car accidents are bound to happen. Leave early, give yourself plenty of time, and give the driver ahead of you plenty of space. 

Use common sense. It is easy to succumb to family pressure and leave at the crack of dawn to drive somewhere. Yet if you have not had enough sleep, you are more likely to suffer an accident. Know your limits. Do not drive when you are exhausted. In the same vein, do not drive after you had alcohol to drink. If you are visiting in an area where the elevation is above what you are used to, there is a good chance that you may feel more easily affected by exhaustion or alcohol.

Related: Care Continuum: Where to Go When Your Sick or Injured

While the problems run the gamut from the dog that eats the chocolates to the in-laws who show up unannounced in their 40-foot RV, urgent care locations warn that you might want to keep your eyes open for these four common holiday dangers.