Deck the Halls Safely!

Holiday decorations make a home look festive, but improper use can result in injuries, deaths, and property loss. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

Approximately 1,300 people are treated each year in emergency departments for injuries related to holiday lights another 6,200 are treated for injuries related to holiday decorations and Christmas trees

Here are some common injuries that can occur while decking the halls this year:

  • You could fracture your hand, wrist, ankle or other bone in the body if you fall off the ladder while hanging decorations. It is also possible to dislocate your shoulder or tear the meniscus (cartilage) in your knee.
  • Herniating a disc or straining a muscle in your neck or back while carrying big, heavy boxes of decorations.
  • Doing all the decorating in 1-2 days? This increased activity may lead to acute tendinitis in the knee or impingement in the shoulder.

Deck the halls…safely! Here are a few tips to help you avoid injuries:

  • When using a ladder to hang decorations, make sure you have the correct type of ladder for the job. Also ensure that the ladder is sitting on level ground and have a helper on the ground to hold the ladder if possible. Don’t lean too far to either side of the ladder. Move the ladder to the spot you need to reach.
  • When carrying heavy or awkward sized boxes and totes of decorations, make sure to use proper lifting techniques. Squat down to pick up the box instead of bending at the waist. Don’t rotate your body as you lift. Pick the box straight up and turn your whole body to avoid straining a muscle in your back.
  • Decorating for the holidays is not something we do every day so our bodies might not be used to running up and down a ladder all day hanging lights on the house. If you can spread out the decorating over a few days or week, this may help you avoid a flare up of acute tendinitis or impingement. Another idea is to have a helper to assist you with the decorations.

We hope you have a safe and healthy holiday season. If you do end up with a injury over the holidays, you can trust TOCA to take care of all your orthopedic needs!