It’s that time of the season again. And while everybody is preparing for that wonderful occasion: spending time with family and friends, setting up that colorful lights in the spirit of the holidays, planning for that perfect getaway, wrapping presents and some fun-filled decorations for the spirit of the holidays. In this season while you try to make a wonderful memory, being extra cautious in going about various activities is completely necessary. We’ve listed 5 common Holiday accident and injuries for awareness and in the event of unfortunate events, you may know what to do:
- Car Accident
- Falling Accident while Holiday decorating
- Electric shock from decorating
- Back injury from carrying luggage
- Lacerations from opening presents
Did you know that 1 person die every 13 minutes due to car accident? Based on the average amount of deaths on 6 federal Holidays that can be traced back since 1982, it reveals that the Thanksgiving Days has the most number of fatalities in 2008 (Forbes.com). It is observed that during the holiday season there are more drivers on the road with more than the usual alcohol consumption, it can create potential for conflict. Partygoers between the ages of 21 and 24 have the highest level of involvement in alcohol-impaired driving. Another factor is vision-impaired driving, according to Ed Green (CEO, The Vision Council), 11 million Americans have this problem. Between 6pm and 6am, the driving fatality rate is 3 times higher than the daytime rate. Poor weather condition is another factor contributing to deaths and accidents on the road. More fatalities arise during a good weather in winter month.
Safety Precaution. It is imperative to NOT Drink and Drive. If you are drinking, it is best to ask friends or family member who are not drinking to drive you home or take a cab. It is important that you know your limitations. In the event of severe weather conditions, staying indoors as much as possible is advised. Do not drive unless it is completely necessary. The following tips can be helpful in these circumstances:
- Keep your mobile phone with you and make sure it is fully charged;
- Always have a first aid kit with you
- Keep water and food in the vehicle
- Always have a colored blanked
- If possible do not travel alone
- Let someone know your destination and keep them updated of your whereabouts and location
- Turn on radio when on the road for weather updates.
Falling Accident while Holiday Decorating
In the study made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) it is said that more or less 5,800 Americans are treated each year for fall related injuries which is associated with holiday decorations. And an average of 2-3 people per hour are injured during the season. Further 43% of injuries related to falling accident is caused by ladder accidents while some are caused by stairs, furniture, rooftop and porches. Thus, accidents such as these resulted to fractures, concussions, musclepulls, and bruises among others.
Safety Precaution. Given the stated facts. It is essential to be aware of safety precautions to avoid these accidents. Since most falls are caused by ladder accidents we have pointed out some tips on how to stay safe when decorating on higher places especially when using a ladder. One Major rule: Safety FIRST.
- Always make sure you are stepping on stable surface, if you feel or not sure if you are safe on that ladder or stool then better not risk it. Always trust your instincts.
- Always seek help from someone to help you in decorating it is best to work in pairs for backup especially to have balance especially in decorating high places.
- In any case, make sure that there are no pointed or hard objects on the ground. Clean up the clutters that may injure you in case unfortunate event happens.
- Based on research furniture are also one the reasons that caused falling accidents, on this note, it is best to use proper climbing tool in decorating, it may just save you from harmful injuries. USE a STOOL or a LADDER. (Do not step on the top rungs of the ladder).
- Avoid slippery areas. These increases the risk of a slip or falling accident.
Electric Shock from Decorating
Apart from Fallen-off the Ladder injuries, another common injuries during the season involves electric shock. Electric decoration mishaps is one of the common accident that happens during the period of the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year, which is mostly caused by careless decorating while preparing for the Holidays. In the CPSC study, an average of 5,000 people are treated due to indoor and outdoor electric shock during the holiday season. Electric current can result to the following injuries: Cardiac Arrest, Thermal burns, and Muscle, nerve and tissue destruction. Based on statistics, more than 20% of Americans do not turn off holiday electrical decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house, this is a very dangerous practice as this could result to possible accident.
Safety Precaution. Just like any other injuries, it is always necessary to have a safety precautions. To avoid getting to accidents involving electric mishaps, here are some tips to consider:
- It is important to use an authentic extension cords which is in good condition. Never overload electrical sockets and make sure it is unplug when not in use.
- In setting up holiday lights, we recommend to use led holiday lights as it uses less heat and can last longer than incandescent lights.
- For electric shock prevention, use a dry, wooden ladder when setting up the holiday lights. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Or use a waterproof electric connections for added protection.
- Follow the proper use and care of electric decors to ensure safety.
- Never touch and electric wirings when you aresoaking wet.
- Use electrical lights that are recommended by reputable testing organization.
In the event of electric shock, typical symptoms may be observed: A sudden start leading to cardiac arrest, burns, difficulty of breathing or even not breathing at all, or if the person is unconscious. Remember that a human body conducts energy, in the event of conducting first aid, it is best to unplug all electrical wirings and turn off anything that may cause electric shock before helping someone who just had an electrocution.
Back Injury from Carrying Luggage
For people who loves to travel, the Holiday Season is the best time for travel, however it is also a time where one is at risk with back pains or even injuries during this time due to lifting heavy luggage, not to mention having to wait for longer hours. In fact, in 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have recorded 53,790 luggage related injuries.
Safety Precaution. To prevent back injuries or back pains, the CPSC recommended some tip on how to avoid back injuries from carrying luggage during a holiday trip:
- It’s with the luggage. Shop for the right type of luggage. Consider a sturdy but high quality, and light weight. It is beneficial to choose a luggage with wheels and handles at the same time for easy handling.
- Pack lightly. Only pack things that are necessary.
- When lifting a luggage, it is best to bend your knees and lift luggage with your leg muscles rather than your waist. Hold the luggage close to your body when you do.
- When using a backpack, make sure to balance the weight of the backpack on your shoulders. Have both straps padded so that your shoulders won’t hurt. Uneven weight of the backpack on your shoulder may cause strain on shoulders.
- When using a shoulder bag or a duffel bag, consider carrying the back alternately on both shoulders.
Remember that if a person is suspected to be suffering of a back or spinal injury it is important not to move the person as it may lead to permanent paralysis. Symptoms that a person may be having a back or spinal injury may include the following:
- There is an indication of head injury and constant change of the person’s level of consciousness
- If the person is experiencing a severe pain in his neck or back and cannot move the neck or the neck or back is positioned oddly.
- Person is experiencing numbness, weakness or lack control of his limbs or bowels.
Lacerations caused by Opening Presents
This may sound silly but this packaging-related injuries has been one of the common injuries during the holiday season. As the CPSC pointed
out, an average count of 6,000 people are treated for this type of injuries every year.
Safety Precaution. One good away to avoid lacerations when opening holiday presents is to keep calm and just enjoy the process of opening the gifts. As they say, DON’T SWEAT ON SMALL STUFF. Just because you are having difficulty in opening your presents, it doesn’t mean it has to ruin your entire day. Next, is to avoid using sharp objects when opening gifts. Always keep in mind, safety comes first.
How to respond to Accidents or injuries
In unforeseen events, or accidents, it pays to be aware and to not panic. In situations like this it is important to be alert, stay calm when one gets into any kind of accident or injuries and remember, ensure your safety first.
- Assess yourself and your environment. After the impact and you are fortunate to be conscious, it is important to assess yourself, give yourself a chance to collect your thoughts and try to figure out if you are hurt or injured somewhere.
- Call for Help. At this point, is essential to call for emergency assistance. If you are injured or severely injured it is best to wait until help comes to avoid more complications. If you are fractured or severely hurt, do not try to move and just wait until help comes.
- First Aid Kit. Always have a first aid kit on hand in case of emergency.
- First Aid.
- If the person you are with is unconscious after an electrocution, it is advised to turn off everything before attending to the person for safety. Make sure that the casualty is not in contact with the source of the shock anymore. To break contact between the source of shock and the casualty is to use a rope or a wooden tool. Be cautious not to touch the casualty when doing this, once you have successfully pulled the casualty away from the source. Check for the persons response and breathing, perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
- Always remember that your immediate goal is to stop the bleeding. Should an accidental cut ever occur. Here are some first aid tips for lacerations:
- Stop the bleeding. To stop the bleeding of the wound, a direct pressure is recommended. It may help to squeeze the wound to temporarily stop the bleeding.
- On this note, assess how severe or mild the injuries are. Normally a laceration on the finger stops bleeding after it is squeezed for 10-15 minutes.
- Clean your wound. Run your wound with water to prevent infection. In the absence of water the following is also okay to use: alcohol, peroxide and liquor. You must be aware though that using these alternatives can be painful. Dry your wound after cleaning, and cover it with a clean cloth or bandage to keep the dirt away from the wound. Add antibiotic ointment if available.
Note: If the cuts affect the major artery, it is recommended to seek medical attention immediately.
- Seek Medical Attention. Regardless of how severe or simple the accident may be, it is advised to seek medical help as sometimes, some symptoms does not show right away. As some will only start off as minor pains but may later get worse if not given attention. At this point, seeking the help of your Chiropractic Doctor is recommended. To call for an ambulance dial 000 or 911.
In the event of car accident injuries or spine injuries, it is recommended to set an appointment with your Chiropractic Doctor after the accident to ensure that no major damages have occurred. As sometimes, it would take weeks before the side effects of the accidents are felt, and most of the time, it is at this point that the accident has dealt a large amount of damage to the spine. It is important to note though that numbness after the accident is an indication of a serious complication.
As Chiropractic Doctors are well trained professionals especially on injuries concerning the spine as well as of injuries resulted from car accidents, they can by using non-invasive treatment through hands-on manipulation. This restores the mobility of joints and manages pain. For the accuracy of Diagnosis, Chiropractic Doctors also makes use of medical facilities in evaluating the patient’s condition.