Each year, the holiday seasons sees an uptick of emergency room visits, and Ochsner Urgent Care Physician Dr. Yihong Zheng is offering several recommendations to keep you and your family safe and accident free.
"Whether you are decorating your tree and the inside of your home, or tackling the outside with lights and ornaments, keep in mind that safety comes first so you don't end up with a visit to the emergency room or urgent care," said Dr. Zheng, "At this time of year, we see a lot of cuts, burns and broken bones from decorating accidents."
If there are children around, choking hazards become another potential risk. Electrical fire hazards can be especially dangerous and extra precautions should always be taken to ensure all wiring is safe to use.
Dr. Zheng said these tips can help you stay injury-free and healthy this winter.
For many people, the holidays mean carrying boxes of ornaments and decorations out of storage, not to mention the massive trees that are hauled into living rooms. It is important that proper lifting techniques are used while setting up trees and placing heavy decorations on the gutter or roof.
- When lifting heavy objects, follow these instructions:
- Keep a wide base of support
- Bend at the hips and knees only, keeping your back straight, chest out, and shoulder back.
- Slowly lift with your hips and knees without twisting or jerking
- Set down trees or boxes gently, bending at only the knees and hips
Practice Ladder Safety
- When using a ladder to put the finishing touches atop trees and especially as you try to hang decorations on higher places outside, such as in trees or on a roof line, keep balanced and injury free by taking a few easy precautions:
- Inspect the ladder for damage, reading all labels and markings
- Do not use the top rung of the ladder
- Do not place the ladder on boxes, chairs, or any items other than the floor.
Watch for Cuts
You should always wear gloves when decorating with light bulbs or ornaments that are breakable. Botch can cause either minor or deep cuts that could require stitches. It is also advisable to wear closed-toe shoes to avoid stepping on breakable objects.
Fire and Burn Prevention
Though not common, holiday tree fires can cause serious injury, property damage, and even death. The following tree maintenance should be followed carefully to avoid a potential tragedy:
- Choose a fresh tree that isn’t dried out
- Use a tree stand with a wide base to avoid your tree falling over
- Be sure that any lights put on the tree are low energy and low heat wile also ensuring that there are no frayed or damaged cords
- Do not overload power strips or electrical circuits
- If you choose an artificial tree, make sure it is marked as being flame resistant
- Keep a fire extingnuisher nearby.
For more information or to schedule a primary care appointment, call 225-761-5200 or schedule online at www.ochsner.org/info.