(AUSTIN) — During the 2019 holiday season 14,800 people were treated in emergency rooms all over the country for decorating-relating injuries, that’s according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It found on average, there are around 160 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season and almost half involve falls.
“The most common injury we see are related to falls,” said Kristen Hullum the trauma injury prevention coordinator at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.
Falls from ladders seem to be the most common — Hullum said she’s seen minor to major injuries from people falling off ladders, especially in places where it’s hard to steady ladders on the ground.
She said common broken bones, like ankles or legs, in addition to wrist and arm injuries from trying to break a fall to more serious injuries like head trauma.
“That can be scary if you are an older adult and taking blood thinners, you can bleed round the brain,” said Hullum.
Clearing a space and stable surface to hang holiday lights while you are on a ladder can help prevent injuries.
“You want to make sure you don’t stand on the top level which is not a step! You want to make sure you are center and not reaching over to the side which can take you and the ladder down.”
The CPSC says other injuries from decorating included Dry Christmas trees and unattended candles leading to dangerous fires. From 2016 to 2018, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires in November and December each year, resulting in 30 deaths, 180 injuries, and nearly $56 million in property loss per year.