Avoiding Holiday Accidents

Avoiding Holiday Accidents

'Tis the season for fires, burns and falls, health experts warn. Here are some pointers for avoiding injuries and enjoying the holidays.

Published December 21, 2011

I know that with the holidays right around the corner, most likely you are swamped with last-minute shopping, food to prepare and people to entertain, so the last thing you need is something else on your plate to worry about. But ‘tis also the season for accidents! According to Forbes.com, over 400 Americans lose their lives to holiday-related fires each year, and 1,000 are hospitalized with injuries. Also, there are 200 Christmas tree fires each year, too. Overall, fires during the holiday season cost the country over $900 million in damage.

Yeah, it’s that deep.

In a recent news statement, Jeff Guy, director of Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center said, “We see a significant increase in burn patients between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Your holiday, which should be full of joy and celebration, can quickly turn tragic.”

According to HealthDay, Guy offers up a few pointers to keep your home safe:

Staying in the kitchen and being attentive while cooking can prevent most cooking fires. Keep pot holders, wooden utensils, towels, food packaging and anything else that can catch fire away from the stove top.

When you buy an artificial Christmas tree, select one with a "fire resistant" label. When buying a real tree, check for freshness. It should be green, the needles should be hard to pull, the trunk should be sticky with resin and the tree shouldn't lose many needles when it's hit.

Keep fresh trees away from fireplaces and radiators and keep the tree stand filled with water. A well-watered tree is usually safe but it can take just a few seconds for a dry tree to be ablaze.

Don't burn wrapping paper in the fireplace, because it can ignite suddenly and burn intensely. Place candles away from trees and other decorations and in locations where they can't be knocked over. Never leave candles unattended.

Some other things to watch for include falling while decorating your home; pets and children eating poisonous plants such as mistletoe; cuts and lacerations from carving meats such as turkeys and hams; broken bones and sprains and heart attacks from shoveling snow.

So, while you are enjoying that sweet potato pie and admiring your new diamond bracelet or Playstation, just remember to be careful and cautious.


BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Written by Kellee Terrell


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