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Holiday Safety: Most Common Injuries in Salt Lake City

Posted November 19, 2017 | Uncategorized

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for most. For some, it’s the season for personal injuries and illnesses. In Salt Lake City, some injuries are more common than others around the holidays. Snow and ice accidents, for example, send hundreds to the hospital each year around Christmas and New Year’s. Recognizing the most common injuries and types of accidents in SLC can help you avoid them, and stay out of the hospital this holiday season.

Decoration-Related Injuries

Putting up the Christmas lights can seem important as soon as Thanksgiving ends, but remember to do so with plenty of safety precautions. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded 14,700 holiday-decorating related injuries that required emergency room visits in 2016. The most common decorating injuries were falls (41%), followed by lacerations (10%), and back strains (5%). There were three deaths from falling off ladders.

Hang lights up high only with a personal fall protection device, such as a safety harness. Do not climb ladders without safety gear and a buddy close by. When in doubt, hire a professional to string your lights or go with decorations that don’t require you to get up on the roof. Other décor-related holiday injuries stem from Christmas tree fires, candles, electric lights, and fireplaces, which all pose fire and burn hazards. Never place a live or artificial tree near a heat source.

Slip and Fall Injuries

With snow and ice comes a great risk of slip and fall accidents. Every year, slip and fall accidents result in more than one million emergency room visits in the U.S. Be careful when stepping out of your vehicle onto snow-covered ground, as ice could be hiding beneath the snow. Salt and sand driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots to reduce the risk of slips and falls. If you slip and fall on someone else’s property around the holidays, consider talking to an attorney in Salt Lake City about a possible premises liability lawsuit.

Alcohol-Related Accident Injuries

The holidays are the perfect excuse to imbibe more than you normally would. While the spiked eggnog is flowing, however, make sure you don’t do anything to jeopardize your safety. This includes decorating the house, climbing ladders, carving the ham, and getting behind the wheel to do last-minute holiday shopping. If you need to go out in the snow, be especially wary of drinking beforehand. Alcohol can make you more susceptible to snow-related harms such as hypothermia and frostbite.

If you plan on drinking at all at a holiday party or event, arrange a safe and reliable way home. Designate a driver who will not drink at all, or plan to catch an Uber or Lyft home. Only drive yourself if you’re absolutely prepared not to drink at all. Drinking even one alcoholic beverage can impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. When in doubt, organize a ride home or stay with the host of the party overnight. Only drive home when you’re 100% sober.

Snow Sport Injuries

Salt Lake City becomes a popular destination for avid snow sport athletes every winter. Utah is nature’s playground when it snows, with sports like skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, snowshoeing, and snowboarding available. Unfortunately, an increase of snow sport activity means an increase in holiday season injuries. Participate in snow sports with caution, always bringing emergency preparedness tools such as an avalanche beacon, and try partnering with a buddy. Head and brain injuries are some of the most common sports-related harms, and snow sports can be particularly dangerous. In the event of a holiday related accident or injury, seek professional medical care and retain the services of a personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City to make sure you have your bases covered this winter.