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Random injuries that send you to the ER during the holidays

  • Category: Emergency
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Random injuries that send you to the ER during the holidays

Touro’s ER treats 34,000 patients a year providing pediatric through senior emergency care, but Christmas is the busiest season for the emergency department. It’s so busy, many check in to the ER online. From random injuries to food poisoning to abnormal reactions in the body, here are a few festive reasons you may need emergency care and how to stay safe and healthy this year.

Random injuries in the kitchen

You know your way around the kitchen. But with a rowdy crowd waiting for you to put the final touches on a Réveillon dinner, things get rushed. Add family members who want to lend a hand, and you’ve got a recipe for random injuries in the kitchen.

You cut yourself with a knife. A cousin burns herself on the stove. Your uncle knocks a pot of boiling water off the stove, causing your aunt to fall.

Next thing you know, your Christmas holiday is full of broken bones, skin infections and burned fingers. Time to seek treatment with an ER visit.

To help avoid these problems this holiday, follow these tips from the National Institutes of Health:

  • Focus on the task at hand, not on the television or phone call.
  • Keep pot handles turned in so they are less likely to get knocked off the stove.
  • Never cut food in your hand. Place food on a cutting board and use sharp knives, as dull ones cause more accidents.
  • Keep commonly used items within reach for easy access.
  • Wipe up spills quickly.

Holiday dangers starting at the table

Once the food is out of the kitchen, there is still a risk of random injuries. Two reasons your loved ones may seek emergency treatment include:

  • Food poisoning. Get distracted while you cook, and you may not get the meat to the proper temperature. If you cross-contaminate your food, soon, someone has abdominal pain. Then they vomit or have diarrhea. Avoid these problems by washing your hands regularly ensuring the food cooks thoroughly.
  • Drinking too much alcohol. A glass of spirits makes the holiday season bright. However, too much alcohol puts you at risk for all sorts of problems. Alcohol can lead to balance problems, poor decisions, and automobile accidents. Protect against alcohol-induced injuries by pacing yourself. Don’t only drink alcoholic beverages. Alternate with water and other nonalcoholic drinks, and ask a non-drinking driver to get you home safely.

Decorating and stressing your way to random injuries

There’s a lot of pressure to make everything perfect during the holidays. Unfortunately, that pressure can lead to holiday dangers, such as:

  • Heart attacks and strokes. The American Heart Association says your heart attack risk is highest between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. This is likely due to increased stress and poor lifestyle habits. Reduce your risk by finding ways to relax and reduce your stress. Also, don’t give up on your exercise routine.
  • Ignoring doctor’s orders. Taking medication for chronic conditions as directed and avoiding high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar foods or activities, such as smoking or heavy drinking, keeps you healthy. The holidays are not a good excuse to stop your medications or indulge in whatever foods you desire. If you give in, expect problems. Stay healthy by following doctor’s orders, even when it’s hard.
  • Slips and falls. Decorating makes your house look festive, but it can lead to random injuries, too. Fall off a ladder, and you might break a bone. Land on top of something sharp, and you can get foreign objects stuck in your body. Using safety precautions and not drinking alcohol while decorating reduces your risk.
Get emergency care at Touro any time, not matter the season. Take care. Seek care.