Parkridge Health System - December 11, 2019

Hello, December! Your holiday calendar is probably already packed with children's plays, work potlucks and neighborly gatherings. The last thing you have time for is a trip to the emergency room.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is just one of the busiest times of the year for emergency rooms. But there are steps you can take to lower your risk and steer clear of injury.

A Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

Many of our beloved holiday traditions put us at an increased risk of injury.

For starters, many of us are in the process of decorating our home for the holidays. This is supposed to be fun! However, it actually lands many people in the emergency room. From falls off ladders to back strains carrying the reindeer and Christmas tree from the attic to the house, decorating offers up its share of hazards.

When finding the perfect spot for your Christmas tree, make sure it isn’t in an area near a fireplace or heater. This is especially important if it is a live tree, as tree branches are extremely flammable. Also, when lighting your house, work with other people so that you can have one person stand at the base of the ladder while the other one hangs the lights.

In addition, this is also a time of celebration! However, celebrating too much can put you and others at risk for serious injury or even death.

Drunk driving accidents are completely preventable. If you do decide to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two during a holiday gathering, make sure you have a designated driver.

Finally, the holiday meals can also put you at risk of a trip to the emergency room. It's entirely too common during the holiday season for prepared foods to sit out for hours—well beyond when they're safe to consume.

It's important to ensure you're following guidelines for safe food preparation and storage, and that includes properly putting away foods within a short time after your meal. No one wants food poisoning during the holiday season!

While we hope you have a safe and fun holiday season, please note that our emergency room at Parkridge Medical Center is ready and waiting to handle any medical situation.