The holidays are fast approaching and there are many things to do! The holidays may be the “best time of the year” but that can change quickly with unsuspected accidents and injuries. The most common accidents during the holidays occur due to falling while decorating, slipping on ice, heavy luggage, shoveling snow, fires, and multiple accidents due to alcohol consumption.
Here are some tips to ensure your safety this winter season!
- Be careful with ladder placement: make sure that you double check for any loose bolts or hinges as well as placing the ladder on stable ground about a foot away from the wall to avoid dangerous falls
- Use a step stool for indoor decorations: try to avoid using furniture to put up decorations, it often is uneven and more prone to give out
- Keep pathways/hallways clear: Make sure you clear areas for walking to avoid tripping on gift boxes, decorations, moved furniture etc.
- Ask for help: when carrying heavy items or rearranging furniture so that you don’t risk hurting your back
- Clear snow often while it is lighter: to ensure you don’t risk injury by lifting heavy snow, try and clear it as often as possible.
- Don’t throw the snow: push it instead to avoid unnecessary stress on the back
- Watch for ice and wear proper footwear to avoid slips and falls
- Choose the right luggage: when purchasing luggage make sure you find something that is sturdy and light and preferably with wheels
- Don’t rush when picking up heavy luggage: Get help if it is too heavy to lift on your own
- Try to avoid holding heavy bags for long periods of time to avoid injury on shoulders, wrists, arms, and back
- Drive cautiously! With the snow and ice you need much more time to brake than when the roads are dry. Make sure you give extra space between cars, slow down early before red lights/stop signs, and reduce speed when necessary
- Fire safety: With lots of people around it can sometimes slip our mind that the stove or burners are on and can lead to dangerous fires, make sure you keep an eye on kitchen appliances and use timers!
- Be careful with candles: Candles are another common fire hazard during the holidays, don’t forget to blow them out when you leave a room, and definitely keep them away from the Christmas tree!
- Drink responsibly! The holidays are a lovely time for a celebratory drink, but a large majority of holiday injuries result from alcohol consumption.
- Do not drink and decorate! Wait until you are finished decorating to have that drink to avoid avoidable injuries
- Do not drink and drive! Arguably the most important tip! Make arrangements to stay somewhere or have a designated driver when drinking. There are even some services that will pick you up for free! Check out Operation Red Nose for example, and avoid tragic accidents.