Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
IF A LIFE-THREATENING INJURY OCCURS, ALWAYS DIAL 9-1-1 AND WAIT FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES.
This holiday season, protect yourself and your family from injury. Climbing ladders, standing on rooftops and lifting heavy objects to decorate your home can be dangerous and cause injury. Take precautionary steps to ensure you stay healthy and uninjured throughout the holidays. By taking the right steps when decorating, not only are you protecting yourself, but also your home and family. Amra Nasir, MD, Medical Director of Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care, discusses what steps to take in avoiding injuries this season.
HAVE SOMEONE HOLD THE LADDER
“We often see head injuries, broken bones and sprains from ladder injuries in our Urgent Care facilities,” explains Dr. Nasir. When using a step ladder to put up holiday lights, make sure you have someone holding the base of the ladder while you climb. This helps keep the ladder sturdy and you from falling off the ladder or from it collapsing.
WORK AS A TEAM TO LIFT HEAVY ITEMS
Back pain is one of the most treated injuries this time of year. Protect yourself and don’t lift heavy objects alone. Ask someone to help you when lifting heavy objects, even if you think you can handle it. Lifting something heavy with at least two people can help prevent injury and keep you pain free this holiday season. “As the weather starts to get colder, we tend to treat more back pain” says Dr. Nasir. “Between yard work, decorating and snow removal, it’s important to not be the only one doing the heavy lifting.”
USE UNBREAKABLE ORNAMENTS
If an ornament falls off the tree, table or counter and breaks, it is likely that someone will step in the pieces or pick them up causing a cut or worse. By using unbreakable ornaments, especially with young children, decreases the chance of ornaments breaking and causing severe injury.
BE AWARE OF POISONOUS HOLIDAY PLANTS
While these holiday plants are pretty, some of them are poisonous, especially to children and pets. These plants include holly, poinsettias and mistletoe. “If your child consumes any of these plants, seek medical attention right away,” explains Dr. Nasir. “The reaction to these plants is very serious.”
KEEP TRACK OF SMALL PIECES
Some decorations come with small pieces that can easily get lost or dropped and separated. If a small child gets a hold of a small piece and puts it in their mouth, they can choke on it. Keep small pieces in a location out of reach of young children.