Everyone wants a holly-jolly Christmas, but did you know that emergency room visits spike during the holidays? There are a variety of things that can send a patient to the ER during Christmas, from decorating the house, to slipping on icy sidewalks, to gorging on tasty holiday foods. We hope your holiday season stays injury-free, but here are some tips to help prevent holiday disasters.
Enjoy the Treats, but Don’t Over-Indulge
It’s the season for festive cookies, fruit cakes, candy canes, and yule logs. But during this time of year, many people end up in the ER due to something they ate or drank.
- Oftentimes people on low-sodium diets over-indulge during the holidays by eating rich casseroles and decadent desserts. As a result, their bodies are unable to process the excess salt. It’s okay to enjoy holiday foods, but make sure you control your portion sizes.
- During the holidays, food poisoning is a common reason to head to the ER. People sometimes eat undercooked meat or dishes that were not prepared properly. Make sure your food is cooked thoroughly.
- Another common cause for holiday ER visits is consuming too much alcohol. Pay attention to the amount of alcohol you consume, and never drink and drive.
- Don’t forget your food allergies. Visiting family or friends for the holidays? Be sure to let them know about your allergies ahead of time, so they can prepare the food accordingly.
Before you head out of town, make sure to pick up any medications you need at the pharmacy and check in with your doctor before you leave. Some doctors and pharmacies have shortened hours during Christmas, so make sure to visit in early December.
It’s important to take your medication with you during a trip, even if you’re just going away for a few days. If you’re flying, keep your medication with you in your carry-on bag. That way, if your luggage is lost, your medication will be with you.
Deck Your Halls with Caution
Everyone loves a festive home, but be sure to stay safe as you decorate. Did you know that, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 12,000 to 15,000 people end up in the ER every year due to accidents from decorating?
- If you’re decorating the outside of your house, make sure your ladders are safe and secure, and have someone there to spot you. Always read the warning labels on your ladder.
- Having young children over to your house for the holidays? Check for things like low-hanging mistletoe or other poisonous plants, open fireplaces, uncovered outlets, or stairs without gates that could lead to a child falling and injuring themselves.
- Keep lit candles within your sight and blow them out before you leave the house or the room.
- If you’re setting up a fresh tree, keep it away from fireplaces and other sources of heat. Give it fresh water every day.
- Check all of your lights and throw away any damaged strands.
We know that heading to the ER on Christmas is not something on your wish list, but if you come, here’s what to bring: a friend and a positive spirit. We are here for you throughout the holidays 24/7 at Trusted ER, and we will make your stay special.