Avoid Common Holiday Injuries When Hanging Up Lights, Overpacking for Trips or Consuming Excessive Alcohol
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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 60,000 visits to doctors' offices, emergency rooms, and clinics in 2019 for injuries related to holiday decorating and decorations. “This includes everything from falls while hanging lights and other decorations to hand and other extremity injuries due to artificial trees and stands, lights, and other adornments,” states the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).
Moreover, older adults are more vulnerable to serious injuries from falls in households during the holidays, or at any time. So, caution is necessary when it comes to gifts, toys or other items on the floor, especially if adults 65 years of age or older live in your household.
Traveling during the holidays can also lead to injuries. More than 72,000 people were treated in emergency rooms, doctors' offices, and clinics for injuries related to carrying luggage in 2019, the AAOS said. Injuries to the back, neck, and shoulder can be caused by struggling with heavy, over-packed luggage.
Injuries related to winter sports -- such as snowboarding, snow skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding -- accounted for more than 186,000 visits to ERs, doctors' offices, and clinics in 2019.
“Usually, people with skiing or snowboarding injuries get treated out at the ski locations, and those tend to be ligamentous injuries of the knee, such as ACL tears, which are treated by orthopedic sports medicine surgeons. But sometimes, they need follow-up care with orthopedic surgeons back home after returning from their trip.”
- Don't drink and drive; and make sure to wear seatbelts.
- If you're over the age of 60, have a younger family member available to help with hanging lights on the house from a ladder or roof top. That would likely be safer.
- Wear a helmet when on bicycles and scooters.
- Make sure the house is free of clutter, so the grandmas and grandpas don't trip and fall when they're coming over for a holiday dinner.
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