The Christmas season brings so much joy to so many people. Traditions that are passed down from generation to generation are enjoyed, and families and friends get together to celebrate the season. Of course, there is much to do during this time of year. There are presents to shop for, decorations to put up, and lots of cooking to do. So while it is a time to be festive and enjoy all of the traditions of this wonderful season, it is also a time to be extra careful. Many injuries happen around this time of year, so be aware of some of the most common Christmas injuries and take steps to avoid them if you can.
Common Christmas Injuries
We’ve categorized the most common injuries by the activity that is associated with it.
Shopping for presents can be a rewarding experience – although admittedly stressful at times. You have to understand that other shoppers are likely under the same deadlines and stresses that you are, so they tend to be involved in the same type of accidents because of the hurried nature of the season. Be sure to take your time and be aware of your surroundings in the following circumstances.
- Driving to the store – The drive over to the store can be treacherous because of bad weather. Snow and ice on the roads can make for hazardous driving conditions, so if you are able to plan your shopping trips around more desirable weather, it’s better to wait than to forge ahead in bad weather. In addition, distracted drivers who may be talking on their phones, thinking more about their to-do list than keeping their attention on the road, and texting to get answers to last-minute questions about presents or grocery lists, present another danger. Of course, during the holiday season where parties are thrown daily, there is always the possibility of drunk drivers on the road. Always be cautious of cars that are swerving or acting irrationally on the road.
- Arriving at the store – Believe it or not, parking lots can be as hazardous as the open roads. Stressed and sometimes angry drivers who are looking for an empty parking spot can make dangerous and irrational decisions. There is also a very good possibility that the other drivers in the parking lot are distracted or have been drinking. This kind of situation can lead to not only a lot of fender benders but also many collisions between automobiles and pedestrians.
- Shopping – If the weather has been icy or rainy, walking from the parking lot or walking from one store to another can be particularly hazardous. In addition, carrying the additional weight of bulky packages back to the car presents an additional danger. Always proceed slowly when you are walking on snowy or icy surfaces, and watch for wet flooring inside of the store caused by shoppers tracking snow into the store.
Part of the fun of the Christmas season is all of the wonderful decorations that adorn the house. Something about them just brings a child-like smile to even the oldest adult. But decorating and the decorations themselves may sometimes present a dangerous situation.
- Putting up decorations – Falls from ladders during the holidays are extremely common because so many people use ladders to put up decorations to adorn their trees or their houses. Always make sure that at least two people at a time work at this task, so that one can hold the ladder while the other one decorates. Also, be sure the ladder is sufficiently tall enough to be a foot above the highest place you will be accessing and, of course, never stand on the top step of the ladder.
- The decorations themselves – Many decorations are made of glass, so the risk of stepping on broken ornaments is always present for those walking around with bare feet. Extension cords present another hazard as they can become frayed and cause electrocution. Always inspect extension cords and tree lights for frayed wires, and discard any that are unsafe. If you decorate with candles or have a fireplace going, be sure the candles are away from curtains and placed where little hands can’t reach them, and make sure presents and other flammable decorations are far away from the fireplace.
Food and Presents
Believe it or not, two of the most special things about the Christmas holiday are two that may present dangers to those who celebrate.
- Cooking – Lots of meals are prepared during the holidays, which increases the likelihood of burns from stoves and other hot surfaces. In addition, the holiday season sees a lot of food items that are not usually prepared at other times during the year, and may be particularly hazardous – deep frying a turkey comes to mind.
- Eating – While sometimes it may feel like you have eaten so much you have done damage to yourself, choking is actually more of a danger than overeating. Be sure to chew every bite thoroughly before swallowing, and be particularly careful when consuming treats like hard candies.
- Presents – Sometimes, manufacturers do not place adequate warnings on their packaging, and unclear instructions or warnings can result in injury to children. In addition, defects in the product may cause electrical or burn injuries, and products with small parts present a particularly large choking threat to smaller children. Also, if you place presents or other enticing objects on shelves or tables, be sure that they are secure so that they cannot fall over on children who try to reach them.
Your Injury Attorneys Wishing You a Safe Christmas
We at Brett McCandlis Brown & Connor, PLLC, want to wish you a safe and Merry Christmas. It is our sincere hope that you get the most out of this holiday season, and are able to enjoy plenty of time with friends and family. But if you do become injured during this season because of someone else’s negligence or because a product manufacturer neglected to put a proper warning on their packaging or produced a defective product, we want you to remember that we are here for you. Feel free to give us a call for a free consultation or contact us online today.