As the Holiday Season Nears, the Potential for Accidents Rises
The winter holiday season can be a time of celebration and togetherness. However, it also brings an unfortunate spike in accidents and injuries. Recognizing the potential causes of these incidents is important to preventing them and to being aware of how to respond when they occur.
Here are what some health care providers find to be the most common holiday accidents:
- Ladder accidents and fall-related injuries — Exterior holiday displays can be extravagant, but the average person may underestimate the risks of working at heights. Hanging lights or ornaments on roofs, eaves and other high areas often leads to ladder accidents and falls. Tripping over extension cords and other fixtures is another hazard.
- Toy-related injuries — Poorly designed or improperly used toys can be dangerous, especially in the hands of children. Small parts, rubber bands and deflated balloons can pose choking hazards. Toy packages can become dangerous playthings. Scooters, skateboards and other riding toys require protective headgear and shin guards.
- Fires associated with holiday decorations — Christmas trees, if not properly watered, can become highly flammable, and candles left unattended pose a serious fire hazard. Strings of holiday lights connected in long sequences can create electrical overloads.
- Cooking fires, including burns from turkey fryers — Cooking accounts for roughly half of home fires each year. The chance of fire is greater during the holidays, when there is more cooking. Turkey fryers can be particularly dangerous, causing splatters and potentially bad burns.
- Lifting accidents — Holiday preparations often include lifting heavy objects, from Christmas trees to large boxes. Parents and grandparents might pick up children or engage in horseplay. Excessive lifting can result in serious back and neck injuries.
- Automobile accidents — The holidays bring increased travel, leading to congested roadways. This, combined with adverse weather conditions and a higher incidence of alcohol-impaired driving, can make for more accidents.
- Cutting accidents — Wrapping gifts and preparing elaborate meals involve use of sharp objects like knives and scissors. Haste and distraction can lead to scrapes and cuts, sometimes deep enough to be life-threatening.
- Food- and alcohol-related issues — Holiday celebrations often involve elaborate meals. However, improperly thawed meats and other sources of bacteria can lead to food poisoning. Overconsumption of alcohol is also a serious health risk.
When these incidents occur during holiday events or preparations, the person hurt might be inclined to make light of the injury and not seek immediate care. However, failure to treat the harm promptly can worsen it. If you or family members are noticeably injured, go to an emergency room or trauma center. Also, the injury might be compensable if another person’s negligence was a cause. You should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure you understand your legal options.
The Law Office of S. Mark Mitchell, LLC in Newnan, Georgia represents accident victims throughout the south Atlanta area. To schedule a free consultation, call my firm at 470-344-8550 or contact us online.