The Christmas holiday season is full of gatherings, traditions, once-a-year treats, and more. Unfortunately, it’s also a season for visits to the emergency room. According to one hospital report, more than 12,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year due to falls, cuts, shocks, and burns from holiday decorations and holiday decorating activities.
In a 2004 American Health Association report, cardiac mortality rises around Christmas and New Year’s to rates higher than any other time of the year. According to the report, the spike in daily mortality has multiple explanations, one of which may include the patient waiting to seek treatment because of holiday.
See this list of health tips aimed at keeping you safe during the holiday season:
- Keep fires in the fireplace. Secure lighters away from children and completely extinguish burning candles in unoccupied rooms.
- Clear snow and ice from pathways. It’s not only your aging Aunt Margaret and Uncle Robert you have to worry about, eager children rushing over icy walks can flip and hurt themselves too.
- Frostbite and hypothermia are not a joke. As the temperatures drop and people travel to unfamiliar areas, they may be unprepared for the severe cold, but frostbite and hypothermia can land someone on the hospital very quickly.
- Watch out for distracted drivers. It’s a crazy time with too much alcohol, noisy distractions, and far too many errands. Focus carefully when you’re driving and watch out for other who may be more distracted.
If you’re traveling this holiday season, take a minute to verify the range of your health insurance coverage and have the medical and dental protection you need on your trip. That way, if you do have to visit the emergency room, you won’t have a big unexpected bill as a result.