With just a few weeks to go before the holidays, people are hustling and bustling to get their final presents bought and wrapped, their trees decorated perfectly and the lights twinkling merrily from their homes. Even during this joyous time and flurry of activity, there are risks for injuries.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 1,300 people are treated each year in emergency departments for injuries related to holiday lights and another 6,200 are treated for injuries related to holiday decorations and Christmas trees. The team at SOS has a few reminders to help avoid such injuries:
- Ladders, heights, slippery surfaces and hurried schedules are a combination for potential disaster, and some of those injuries can be devastating. Broken bones are the most common fall injury,
- Dress appropriately: Wear shoes with dry, non-slip soles. Make sure your shoelaces are securely tied, and make sure that your pants are short enough that they cannot slide under your shoes.
- Use the ladder safely: Face the ladder while climbing, and stay in the center of the rails. Never sit or stand on the top rung, pail shelf, or spreaders of any ladder, and never use a ladder in high winds. Be alert to nearby power lines and make sure your ladder or anything you are holding never comes in contact with a power source.
- Know your limits: Resist the temptation to overreach. A good rule of thumb is to keep your navel within the ladder's width and move the ladder more frequently. Do not allow more than one person on the ladder at a time, and never climb a ladder without someone nearby who is able to spot you.
- And, once the holidays are over, don't forget that taking decorations down is just as dangerous as putting them up.
While some may not believe it, there are even risks to shopping. A few tips for making sure just your credit cards feel sore after buying for everyone on your list:
- Don’t overload yourself with packages, which can lead to trips and falls or back and shoulder injuries.
- For people suffering from arthritis, standing in line for long periods of time can become painful. Try to shop at off-peak hours, or stay at home, relax in a comfortable chair and shop online.
And for those traveling for the holidays remember:
- Try to pack as lightly as possible.
- Use bags with wheels.
- Bend at your knees when picking up luggage.
- If luggage is too heavy, check the baggage or get help from a fellow traveler or designated transportation worker.
Take note of these tips and hopefully your holidays will be merry and bright. But if you are injured, SOS PLUS After Hours Care is available. SOS PLUS is a walk-in orthopedic medical clinic that treats patients of all ages with acute orthopedic conditions requiring immediate attention.
SOS Plus has two locations to best serve patients, at 5719 Widewaters Parkway in Dewitt and 5000 West Seneca Turnpike in Onondaga Hill. Hours for both locations are weekdays 5 pm – 8:30 pm, and weekends 10 am – 2 pm. Please note, SOS Plus will be closed on December 24, 25, 26 and 31, and on January 1.