Be Aware of Injury Risks This Holiday Season

Be Aware of Injury Risks This Holiday SeasonAs the holiday season approaches, it’s important to set the scene for a safe and joyful celebration in Minot. Amidst the festivities, it becomes increasingly important to stay mindful of potential hazards and take necessary precautions. While the holiday spirit often brings families and friends together, it also brings about an array of risks that, if overlooked, can lead to unfortunate incidents—and serious injuries. Whether you’re gathered around a festive dinner table or enjoying the twinkling lights of the season, a conscious effort towards safety can make all the difference.

The statistics reflect the reality of holiday-related incidents. According to one study, emergency rooms see a notable increase in injuries stemming from holiday-related events each year. These incidents can range from minor burns to more severe injuries, emphasizing the need for caution in the kitchen, outside, on the roads, and more. By staying vigilant and adopting simple safety measures, we can ensure that the holiday season remains a time of joy without compromising on safety.

Scalding hot foods in the kitchen

In the hustle and bustle of holiday meal preparations, the kitchen can transform into a hotbed of potential dangers, particularly when dealing with scalding hot foods. Great Aunt Mary’s hotdish might be delicious (provided she doesn’t double salt it again this year), but if she heated it in the microwave, you might be in for a serious burn. Research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reveals that only 13% of thermal burns involving ranges or ovens were caused directly by fire or flame. Instead, a significant number of incidents involved cookware such as pots and pans or handling food from microwave ovens. To make matters worse, people of all ages experienced burns when inadvertently touching a hot stove or pan.

Additionally, hot spills and burns from boiling liquids represent a common threat during holiday cooking. Whether it’s a pot of bubbling soup or a simmering sauce on the stove, the risk of scalds is inherent. Accidents involving boiling pots and pans further compound the issue, with the potential for spills or unintentional contact leading to burns. Even after the food is removed from the hot stove, their high temperatures continue to be a risk. Per the NFPA, 51% of non-fire cooking-related burns came from tableware or cup scalds. The statistics also indicate that these incidents are not limited to a specific age group, emphasizing the universal need for caution in the kitchen.

Christmas trees and candles

Candle-related incidents add another layer of concern to the holiday ambiance. While the soft glow of candles can enhance the festive atmosphere, it also introduces a risk of fire, especially when lit near Christmas trees. The NFPA also found that candle fires happen most frequently between December and January. On top of that, nearly 6% of all Christmas tree fires are actually started by candles.

However, it’s not only Christmas trees that pose the risk. Any type of home decoration can catch on fire by being too close to an open flame. Throughout the year, 35% of home decoration fires are started by candle flames. Come December, this number jumps to 45%. By understanding the potential dangers and adopting simple precautions, individuals can strike a balance between creating a warm holiday glow and ensuring safety by preventing housefires. Whether placed on a mantle, in a centerpiece, or as part of a decorative display, candles demand a heightened level of vigilance during the holiday season. Properly placed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can also play a crucial role in mitigating these risks, providing early warnings that can help stop a small fire from turning into a huge tragedy.

Icy sidewalks

Slippery sidewalks can pose a risk to pedestrians of all ages, leading to potential injuries. Common sense tells us to be careful outside, but it bears repeating because the holidays can be distracting. Maybe you’re carrying large boxes or just trying to get the kids to stop running. The point is, you may not be looking at your feet while you trying to get the holiday turkey and that new Pack ‘n’ Play through the door.

So if you’re hosting, make sure you’ve cleaned your walkways and sidewalks, and thrown down some sand, salt, or gravel. And if you’re visiting, assume your host did NOT do this, and tread carefully. Choose shoes with good traction and take smaller steps if they expect a surface may be slippery.

Drunk drivers during holiday celebrations

The merriment of holiday parties often involves alcohol, leading to an increased potential for impaired judgment and reaction times. Statistics only highlight the alarming reality that drunk driving incidents spike during this celebratory season, posing a serious threat to public safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were at least 209 drunk driving-related fatalities around the Christmas and New Year’s period in 2020, all of which were completely preventable. In reality, New Year’s Day is one of the deadliest days on which to drive.

The risks associated with drunk driving in Minot during the holidays extend beyond the immediate danger to the impaired driver. Innocent lives on the road are put in jeopardy due to impaired decision-making and reduced coordination. To combat the dangers of drunk driving, it is essential to present viable alternatives. From designated drivers to public transportation options and rideshare services, there are numerous ways to ensure a safe journey home after celebrating. Whether you’re the host or a partygoer, be sure to always encourage responsible celebrating, especially during the holiday season.

If you or a family member have suffered injuries in any type of accident during the holiday season, the experienced legal team at Larson Law Firm, PC may be able to help. We can work together to secure compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, reach out to our offices or complete our contact form. We handle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. With our presence in Fargo, Bismarck, and Minot, our injury lawyers are here and ready to assist you throughout the entire process.