Many people look forward to the holiday season eagerly every year, especially excitable children and their family members. From Halloween to New Year’s Day, there are many major holidays that take place during the colder season. People preparing for the holidays often focus on their travel plans or on budgeting to buy gifts. They don’t tend to stop to think about how their risk of certain types of injuries drastically increase during the holiday season.
Statistically, the holidays put people at risk for a variety of serious injuries. The following are some of the most common safety concerns that could lead to major personal injuries around the holidays.
The winter holidays come with a significant risk of accidental conflagrations. On Thanksgiving, for example, there are 1,600 reported cooking fires, on average, which is triple the usual daily average. Winter holiday decorations are also a fire risk. People may leave candles unattended or place them near flammable items, like wreaths. Certain factors, like the use of a turkey fryer or the decision to overload certain electrical outlets, can greatly increase the risk of a holiday fire.
Drunk driving crashes
Road travel to visit family members is part of many holiday traditions. Everyone might gather at Grandma’s house on Thanksgiving, for example. Unfortunately, there is usually a major surge in crashes, particularly drunk driving crashes, on the holidays themselves and the weekends closest to them. New Year’s Eve sees one of the biggest upticks in drunk driving crashes of all major holidays, making it one of the riskiest days to be on the road.
Dog bite incidents
Even well-trained animals may lash out at humans when they feel stressed or territorial. Whether someone brings a dog to a loved one’s house for the holidays or visitors trigger the canine owned by the holiday host, a dog bite incident could quickly mar family celebrations by sending someone to the hospital. Children and older adults, as well as those who have too much to drink, might be at elevated risk of either antagonizing an animal or suffering particularly severe injuries should one attack.
There are plenty of other holiday risks, including the possibility of interpersonal violence among family members and defective products given as gifts. Identifying and watching out for some of the biggest safety risks during the holiday season can help people protect themselves and their loved ones.