Unfortunately, emergency rooms get very busy at the holiday season. No matter where you live, the chances of you or someone in your family having to go to the hospital increase around Christmas time, specifically because of seasonal and environmental changes. Keep these few tips in mind to prevent any unwanted illness or injury at this festive time of the year.
When you climb up on a ladder to reach the roof of your house, do be careful! People fall off of ladders very often while trying to decorate their homes. Before you ever set foot onto your ladder, check it to be sure that it still seems fully operational and not rickety. Never climb a ladder backwards; always face the rungs while you climb. Do not skip rungs, and do not stand on the very top of a ladder. Last but certainly not least, place your ladder on the ground—not on top of a table, shelf or other surface. A little ladder safety goes a long way while you are decorating for the holidays!
Prepare yourself for weather situations in any Christmastime climate. In the Southern Hemisphere, remember that temperatures could climb during Christmas, and an afternoon spent in the heat of the sun can potentially lead to sun stroke or heat exhaustion. In the Northern Hemisphere, the reverse is true: spending too much time outdoors during Christmas has the chance to lead to frostbite or hypothermia if you are not careful. Even if temperature extremes are not a problem, weather-related issues can still crop up, including sunburn or slipping and falling on icy surfaces. Always exercise caution when heading outdoors during the holidays, and watch the kids, too.
Although it is less common in a modern world where candles are not hung directly on the boughs of Christmas trees, fires are still a potential holiday danger. Natural and artificial trees both have the ability to catch fire, particularly from a malfunctioning string of overheating or sparking lights. To prevent your natural tree from catching fire as easily, remember to keep it watered every day. For any tree, do not overload the branches with lights, and try to use LED lights wherever possible. Similarly, be careful of candles that you have lit during the holiday season. If you live in a cold climate and will be using a radiator or space heater, take care not to place any furniture, clothing, or drapes too close to the heating mechanism.
People do not often have to go to the emergency room due to overeating, but every so often, it does happen. If you have a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes, severe food allergy, or gastrointestinal issues, then you may be more at risk for a food-related Christmas hospital trip. Try to limit your sugar and fat intakes throughout the season, and particularly in a given day. There may be seven different kinds of Christmas goodies in the kitchen, but that does not mean that you have to try them all in one go!
Last but not least, presents have a nasty habit of sending holiday revellers to the emergency room. The trouble starts when the gift is being purchased. Holiday shopping is responsible for a lot of auto-mobile crashes every year, because shoppers tend to be in such a hurry and may be much less careful than they would be at other times of the year. After you have given the gift, it may continue to cause problems for its recipient. Particularly if you give a gift to a child, be careful to choose something appropriate to the child’s age and abilities. Bicycles, trampolines, and toys with small parts that can be easily swallowed are all known culprits of Christmas trips to the emergency room. If you give a child something like a bicycle, be responsible and give a helmet along with it. And if the family gets a pool for the holidays, remember to always keep an eye on the little ones.
If you keep these tips in mind, you will have a smooth, healthy, and happy holiday season, and your family will be much safer as well. Do not let injury and illness put a damper on your Christmas!