Tis the Season! 4 Tips to Avoid Injuries This Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And, according to the statistics, one of the most dangerous.

When we anticipate the holiday season, what comes to mind are family dinners, beautifully decorated homes with blazing fireplaces, and an abundance of presents. Few of us expect to be injured at a time characterized by peace and goodwill, but it happens, and at a rate that exceeds other times of the year. This is the case with car accidents, kitchen appliances, and house fires in particular, so we have provided four tips that can help you prevent injury as you enjoy another season of joy and merriment.

Tip #1 – Mind the Tree

According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 200 house fires attributable to Christmas trees every year. Reduce the risk of your family tree turning into a fire hazard by keeping lighted candles away from its branches, setting it up a safe distance away from fireplaces and radiators, and checking all electric light decorations for frayed wires.  If you opt for a natural tree be sure to water it regularly to prevent it from becoming dangerously dry. If you prefer the convenience of an artificial evergreen, confirm that it is fire-retardant before buying.

Tip #2 – Drink Responsibly

The holiday season is packed with festivities involving alcohol, which makes the period between Christmas and New Year’s one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. If you know you’re going to be drinking at a holiday party, arrange in advance for a designated driver or use a ride sharing service or taxI when you’re ready to leave. Caution is still warranted even if you don’t drink, as other people may have fewer compunctions about getting behind the wheel after a night of imbibing. When you head for home, drive at a safe speed, keep your eyes on the road, and maintain a distance between yourself and anyone who appears to be driving erratically.

Tip #3 – Be Careful When You Shop

It’s been said that the holiday season sustains the retail industry all year round. It’s easy to believe given the high volume of shoppers that crowd into malls and stores the moment Black Friday and the December sales start. Unfortunately, many shopping trips are ruined by a serious injury.

Store owners have a duty of care to their patrons, but when the place is packed with customers, staff can be so busy attending to them that dangerous conditions like spilled water, bunched-up carpeting, and discarded merchandise are missed. To ensure a safer shopping experience, try to avoid peak shopping periods and remain alert at all times.

Tip #4 – Be Careful in the Kitchen

Kitchen appliances are a leading cause of holiday injuries, especially the turkey fryers that are so popular today. Although they produce a juicy and delicious turkey, these fryers have also caused serious and even fatal burns. Many house fires that occur in December have been traced to defective turkey fryers or units that have been used improperly, so always exercise caution when using yours. If it appears to be malfunctioning, do not use it.

Stay safe this holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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