The holiday season – from Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year – is commonly filled with excitement and tradition. This period can be a great time to get things done around the home, celebrate with daily and loved ones, enjoy various social gatherings, and other memorable holiday activities. However, the holidays usually also bring an increase in accidents or aggravating chronic conditions and/or old injuries.
New injuries are fairly common during the holidays due to hazards around the home while decorating and celebrating and individual behavior. During the holiday season, activities change and it’s a common time for people to do things outside of their usual routine. Patients also have a tendency to let loose and indulge themselves more than might be recommended by medical professionals.
Holiday festivities shouldn’t be dampened because of pain or injury or – worse – a trip to the hospital. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 15,000 people visit ERs during the holiday season due to injuries sustained while decorating alone.
Other poor habits and decisions during the holiday season consist of:
Poor judgement when it comes to drinking and driving
Putting up decorations in dangerous conditions
Slip and fall accidents occur at a higher-than-average rate during the holidays especially in climate where ice and snow are common. To avoid this injury, walk on the grass or portions of unfrozen gravel or sidewalk for better traction. Also wear appropriate footwear.
Climbing ladders and chairs. Falls are a leading cause of accidental injury during the holidays with a third of all holiday injuries resulting from falling from ladders. A fall from a ladder or chair or stairwell can result in broken bones, sprains, strains and cuts. To avoid this injury, work with a partner who can hold the ladder or stair steady, or provide help in the stairwell.
Winter sports like skiing, hiking, snowboarding during holiday travel can also cause injuries. Besides the inherent in the sport, an injury can also occur due to crowds, poor equipment or defective equipment, or lack of patience. To avoid this injury make sure equipment is not defective and take the time to discern the optimum path while avoiding crowds.
Heavy lifting – such as lifting a Christmas Tree can cause injury. Lifting a large tree with the back, can result in a sprain, hernia or worse. To avoid this injury, make sure to lift with the legs and ask for help.
Burns from candles or cooking often occur during the holiday season. One careless swipe of the hand or arm and an overturned candle can result in a bad burn. Candles are especially popular on the dinner table, near trees and in Menorahs where they have a central position in the Jewish celebration of Haunukah. To avoid this injury, make sure candles are safely away from everything else. Burns from a cookstove can also be avoided by taking the extra time to turn off the stove or wearing appropriate cookware.
Spinal injuries can occur due to falls or car accidents in icy conditions – or inebriated driving may result in significant accidents. Spinal cord injuries are particularly dangerous as they may result in long-term disability or pain.
Cuts can often occur while carving the turkey or the ham. Cuts can also occur while trying to unwrap a present or put up decoration using inappropriate knives or scissors. To avoid this injury, always cut away from you and away from anyone else.
Chronic conditions can be aggravated by new injuries or a lapse in judgement. Many people also forget to be consistent with their medications or therapies. To avoid this, always be aware of the condition when attempting an unusual task. Also, stock up on medicines before holiday pharmacy hours can interfere.
The best plan of action is to avoid holiday accidents before they can even happen.
Ensure all equipment – from ladders to knives – are in good shape.
Be proactive and on the lookout for water, hard snow, and ice
Make sure there is ample lighting in the home or any outside area.
Make sure to maintain a healthy diet
Make sure to drink in moderation – if at all. And certainly not drive under the influence.
Maintain a healthy exercise regime to strengthen both the mind and body. Exercise can help the spine retain flexibility and insulate it from any potential injury.
However, if an injury occurs, immediate treatment is essential for favorable outcomes. Spine and Wellness Centers of America believes in Preventative, Holistic, Functional and medicine and offer an array of treatment options that fit each individual’s needs to help them get back optimum wellness.
South Florida’s Best Spine Doctors offer comprehensive service for evaluating and treating holiday injuries. The holidays shouldn’t be a time to stress about injury, and with a few precautions, the holidays can be both injury and worry-free.
For a full list of treatments and services please visit: www.spinewellnessamerica.com