Decorating for the holidays & avoiding injury

The next two months can be a fun but hectic time of year.  With so little time between Thanksgiving and Christmas the stores may not be the only ones quickly putting up and changing around their decorations.   Decorating both inside and outside your house can is a great way to get into the spirit of the season, but don’t overdo it.  This fun time of year can also be dangerous if you aren’t cautious.


Going up and down ladders or standing on furniture can be a dangerous task if you are not careful. 5822 is the average number of ER visits that result from bumps, sprains and breaks related to decorating for the holidays.  So how do I keep myself from being part of 5822?  We have a few suggestions for you to follow.


·         Use proper equipment.  Folding or dining room chairs are not designed for standing on.  When placing things up high, be sure to use a step stool or ladder that will allow you to do so without getting up on your tip toes.


·         Make sure your stable.  Don’t reach out too far when hanging lights or performing any activity on a ladder.  The extra time to move the ladder over will pay dividends when you don’t have to visit the ER.


·         Stay on the ground.  If part of your decorating requires cutting wood or any type of power tool, you are best to do what you can on the ground.  You will minimize any slips, cuts or abrasions by doing so.


·         Recruit help.  Especially if you are hanging lights on your roof.  Having someone to stabilize the ladder will make it safer and more stable for the individual climbing.  Additionally, a person on the ground can help minimize the number of ups and downs the person on the roof must do.


·         Wear shoes.  Broken bulbs, heavy falling option, or power tools can all be a danger to you feet.  Whether you are outside or not, it is important to wear shoes when decorating.


If you do slip and fall or make a misstep, be sure to seek out medical attention.  It is untrue that ‘if it’s broken, you can’t walk on it’.  Many fractures don’t eliminate function but can become much worse and not heal correctly if not treated properly.  RICE, rest, ice, compression, & elevation, should be implement immediately as well as making an appointment with your Austin podiatrist if you sustain any foot or ankle injury.


Until next time, keep those decorating feet and ankles happy and healthy, Austin!

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