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Holiday Accidents & How To Avoid Them

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The holiday season is a time to appreciate all the blessings stowed upon us during the year. To keep you and your family safe this holiday season, read about five of the most common holiday season personal injuries, and some of the ways you can prevent them.

1. Car Accidents
On average, a person dies in a car accident every 13 seconds in the U.S. During the holiday season the risk of being in a car accident increases due to the greater volume of traffic. There are also more impaired, distracted, tired and stressed out drivers on the road. Poor weather conditions are also an accident-causing factor.
The best way to stay safe is to never drink and drive, always remain attentive and drive defensively. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle- just in case. Include a warm blanket, water, non-perishable snacks, and a fully charged cell phone.

2. Holiday Decorating-related Falls

Statistics from the CDC indicate that approximately 5,800 Americans are treated for injuries incurred while “decking the halls.” Forty-three percent of these injuries happen when ladders are involved. Falls from any height can result in bruises, pulled muscles, concussions, or broken bones.  Practice climbing safety when decorating. Never stand on furniture or reach so far that you lose your balance. Adhere to the safety warnings on ladders, and don’t climb too high when you are alone.

3. Electrical Shock
All those beautifully-colored lights can be a danger too. A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study reports that during the holiday season, 5,000 people are treated for electric shock. Electric current can cause thermal burns, muscle, nerve and tissue damage, and cardiac arrest. Before using light strands or extension cords, look for any frayed wires or tears in the protective coating. Don’t overload sockets and unplug decorations when you are away from home.

4. Back Injuries
Holiday travel is exhausting, and it can really take a toll on your back. Lugging overloaded suitcases through the airport or to and from the car can cause sprains, strains, or worse. In fact, the CPSC records an annual 53,790 luggage-related injuries.  To avoid unnecessary neck, shoulder and back injuries this holiday season, remember to lift heavy items with your legs and carry them close to your body. When wearing a backpack, keep the weight evenly distributed between the shoulder straps, and if you’re carrying a bag with a shoulder strap, alternate shoulders frequently to prevent soreness or injury.

5. Lacerations from Opening Gifts
As silly as it sounds, this can, and does, happen. In fact, according to the CPSC an average of 6,000 people are treated every year for packaging-related injuries.  When opening gifts and packages, avoid using sharp objects that can gouge your hands. Assess the situation and choose the appropriate tools for the job.

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident this holiday season,  contact our offices for a free consultation.   We will personally review your matter and discuss possible options with you.    For over 40 years, our personal injury lawyer on your side.