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Wednesday
Nov282012

Top 3 children’s injuries during the holidays & tips for prevention by Guest Blogger Michael Pines

The holiday season is a spirited time full of festivities, gift-giving, and good food and drink.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, or anything in between, the holidays are most always a special time of year – especially for the kids.

But the ushering in of holiday cheer is not without its unsuspecting dangers, especially for the little ones. Between shopping carts, decorations, and fire hazards, the risk for children’s injury increases during the holiday season. And it goes without saying that an injury can quickly spoil the sentiments of winter not only for children but for the affected families as well.

Top 3 children’s injuries during the holidays

Almost nobody thinks of the holidays as a dangerous time, and for most families it isn’t. But serious injury during the winter season happens every single year. It’s no wonder then that emergency rooms are packed with seasonal injuries ranging from falls to choking or burn injuries and beyond.

Learn what causes accidents in the winter, and learn how to prevent the 3 most common children’s injuries during the holiday season.

1. Candles and lights

Holiday burns are responsible for 12,000 injuries every year, and cause countless trips to the emergency rooms according to the USFA December and Holiday Fires report. And while it’s true that candles and twinkling lights evoke the holiday spirit, the next time you light the menorah, be sure to display it safely, away from drapes, tablecloths, and decorations, and out of the reach of little ones.

Decorative candles for table pieces are also a hazard, so be sure these candles stay supervised at all times. Artificial lights should always be unplugged when you retire for the night. Always supervise any lit item, whether natural or artificial, and turn off all string lights and candles before the festivities wrap up for the night.

2. Shopping cart injury

Many parents will shop till they drop this holiday season, and with little ones in tote, the shopping cart is just as essential as your credit card when it comes to convenience. That’s because shopping carts are widely used by parents to transport children around the store during any given shopping trip.

But did you know that shopping cart injuries account for 21,000 children’s injuries every holiday season according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Play it safe, and get a babysitter – you might actually start enjoying shopping again. Or, if you do bring your children in-store and use a shopping cart as their transportation, always use the safety belt and stay close to your cart.

Injuries happen most when you’re not around, so always supervise your child when he or she is buckled in.

3. Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are one of the first holiday objects to ignite into flames, so be sure to keep little ones away from the tree, especially near anything electrical like string lights or outlets. Christmas tree decorations are also a hazard. Ornaments all too often end up in children’s mouths, so babies, toddlers, and even older kids should always be supervised when handling the tree, placing presents beneath the tree, or playing anywhere nearby. A 2009 study at the Division of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School revealed that children under 2 were most likely to sustain ingestion of ornaments resulting in gastrointestinal bleeds, lacerations, eye injuries, and even electrocution. It’s so important to always keep the Christmas tree out of a child’s reach since an accident can happen in an instant.

The key to preventing injury is to think ahead, know the risks, and stay precautious. To the many “mommes” who go the extra mile to protect their children against injury, your diligence is applauded.

May your little ones stay safe this holiday season!

About Guest Contributor Michael Pines

Michael Pines is a personal injury attorney and founder of the Law Offices of Michael Pines. Having worked with families affected by children’s injury for over 20 years, Mike has seen first-hand how incredibly devastating a child’s injury can be for the little one and the family. He is an Accident & Injury Prevention Expert in San Diego and on a mission to stop senseless accidents one blog at a time.

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