Common and not-so-common injuries at Christmas

The festive season is all about family, happiness, and friends. Overeating can cause digestive distress, which is the worst possible outcome for most people. For some unfortunate people, Christmas can be like a scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Learn from the Griswolds to avoid a Christmas that is like theirs.

Some countries like Switzerland still use candles to light their Christmas trees. From 1971 to 2012, 28 Swiss people suffered significant burns, and four of them died from their injuries. Fires caused by candles or Christmas decorations are more serious than house fires.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation poster. Wikimedia Commons

But Christmas lights aren’t any safer. According to a study conducted in Canada, people who were injured while installing Christmas lights spent, on average, 15 days hospitalized. Unfortunately, 5% of the wounded died. Children are at risk from Christmas lights because they are so small that they can easily eat them or inhale them.

While festive decorations are usually dangerous in the home, they can cause problems in hospitals and health centers. A technologist from a Danish hospital was called to investigate an “unusable” blood gas analyzer shortly after festive decorations were put up. The technologist took off the tinsel draped on top of the machine and worked again.

The chances of getting injured during celebrations outside the home are also higher. In the UK, a study showed that the number of assaults with facial injuries during the holiday season increased significantly.

Christmas hazards don’t respect borders

Unfortunately, good weather does not guarantee safety. An Australian Study revealed that during the Christmas and New Year period, many people were admitted to a major trauma center as a result of injuries caused by jet skis or boat propellers.

While Americans, on the other side, are also busy hurting themselves. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 407 admissions related to Christmas to hospitals and emergency rooms in December 2016. In December 2016, there were 407 Christmas-related admissions to emergency departments and health centers.

84 of the 407 admissions were due to Christmas lights. Forty were due to Christmas trees or their support. And 159 were due for Christmas decorations. Other causes were also cited.

Data shows that 10% of the admitted children were under two years old. Children aged ten and under made up a quarter of all admissions. Next in line, based on ten-year age categories, was the 51-60 group with 16%. Close behind them were those aged 3 to 10, with 15%.

Cuts (18%), foreign object ingestion (15%), sprains, strains, scratches (14%), and ingestion of or inhalation were the most common injuries.

The following are some of the most notable admissions in the list:

A 36-year-old man was hanging Christmas decorations, and when he sneezed, he swallowed a drawing pin.

A girl of four years old was found with a metal earring in her ear. She said to the doctor that she wanted “to hear jingle Bells.”

A woman aged 50 who was standing on a chair to hang Christmas lights fell and hit her rectum against the branches of a tree. A tear was found to be present along her rectum.

The bar stool fell from underneath a 28-year-old female while she was hanging an ornament, causing vaginal injuries from the landing.

The wind was blowing the patient, a 66-year-old man, around and around as he worked at home to hang Christmas decorations.

A woman aged 64 dropped a wooden Santa of four feet on her foot and sprained it.

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Author provided

Remember that accidents can happen anywhere, so don’t rush to get things done. Safety and elf are the key. You don’t wish to end up as the Christmas turkey, which is burned, sliced, and dislocated, with a foreign item inside.

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