It is the holiday season again, and with that comes decorating and preparations for fun family excitement! However, you must remember to be careful when doing these tasks. I think many of us have seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with all the craziness of the Griswold family. No one wants to show up at Christmas with a twisted ankle or bad back! Read on for some holiday safety tips to avoid lighting your tree on fire, falling off a ladder or roof, or causing bodily harm.
Common injuries around the holidays include:
• Falling from a ladder, roof, or step stool
• Back strains from lifting gear, presents, trees, etc.
• Lacerations from making decorations using scissors, carving the meal, and/or from broken ornaments.
Safety Tips to Prevent Holiday Injuries
Things to consider while decorating with outside lights:
- Check all gear including lights for frayed wires or burnt-out bulbs and ladders for loose rungs or broken extension components.
- Check your environment. Is it icy or wet outside? Take that into consideration.
- Plan ahead and map out where your lights are going to go, if you have enough strands to get the job done, and where your outlets are.
- When putting lights up outside, make sure your ladder is on an even surface. Consider wearing non-slip or sturdy shoes. Have someone hold the ladder while you use it to provide extra stability. Always face the ladder, do not reach out of your center (move the ladder!) and never try to move the ladder when you are standing on it. I.e., jumping on it to move it (looking at you, Geoff!).
- Fact: falling is the number one cause of significant injuries for seniors when at home. Any person with impaired balance should not get on a ladder or step stool.
What NOT To Do:
Putting Up Lights
Setting Up A Ladder
- Kiddos love to be helpers, so bundle them up and send them outside to play while you manage the heavy lifting. Also, use that time to decorate the hard-to-reach places and handle the fragile items. Then let them join in the fun with easy-to-reach and safe decorations. Being Santa’s helper is terrific, but keep them safe by preventing falls, cuts, or tangling with electric lights.
- Keep walkways clear and avoid putting things on or near your staircase to avoid tripping.
- Never carry something that obstructs your view of where you’re going or is too heavy for you. There is no need to take all of the presents and decorations downstairs at once. Make multiple trips! It is safer and good exercise.
- Use proper lifting techniques by not bending and twisting at your spine. Take a look at our spinal health blog for further instruction.
- Keep you, your family, and your house safe by minimizing the risk of a fire with proper placement of your tree. Keep it away from any heat source, including fireplaces, wood/pellet stoves, and vents. Also, remember to keep it watered. Pro tip: save your back and let the kids/grandkids in your life do it!
There you have it! At Endurance, we love the holidays. We don’t want any of you to have to come to visit us in a panic over an easily avoidable injury – especially if it cuts into your holiday festivities. We hope these safety tips help you through this wonderful season unscathed and we wish you the merriest of holidays!
~ The Endurance Team