Holiday Prep-Related Injuries: Burns & Lacerations

January 9, 2024
Picture of someone carving a turkey for a holiday dinner.

As we enter the holiday season, you may be making arrangements to visit family, shopping for gifts, and planning your menu for the big day. But it’s also important that you take care to avoid injuries. The holidays are one of the peak times for injuries to occur—in fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 14,800 people were treated in hospital emergency departments due to holiday decorating-related injuries during the 2022 holiday season. In this article, we discuss two of the most common holiday injuries—burns and lacerations—and we offer tips for how to prevent accidents around the holidays.

Holiday Safety Tips to Prevent Burns

The risk of fires increases during the holiday season—according to National Fire Protection Association statistics reported by the Electrical Safety Foundation, approximately 30% of all home fires occur during the months of December, January, and February. Here are some tips for how to protect your family and your home from fire and resulting burns during the holidays:

  • Never leave food unattended while it’s cooking (including food that’s cooking on the stove or in the oven, a microwave, a pressure cooker, an air fryer, a slow cooker, or any other appliance).
  • Wear short and/or close-fitting sleeves while cooking.
  • If you opt to deep fry your turkey, do so on a flat surface that’s outdoors and far away from your home and any flammable items. Wear safety goggles and gloves, and make sure your turkey is completely thawed before frying it.
  • Keep fresh Christmas trees watered, since dry trees are highly flammable.
  • When shopping for an artificial Christmas tree, look for one that’s labeled as being fire resistant.
  • Don’t overload your electrical outlets with holiday lights and other decorations.

Holiday Safety Tips to Prevent Lacerations

One of the best things you can do to avoid cutting yourself is to take your time. The holidays can be hectic, and with everything you have to get done, you may be tempted to rush. But slowing down while you’re cutting wrapping paper or carving your turkey can help lower your risk of a laceration. You should also:

  • Sharpen your knives before using them (it may seem counterintuitive, but dull blades are more likely to cause injuries).
  • Cut away from yourself and others.
  • Don’t leave sharp knives soaking in the sink.
  • Turn off and unplug blenders, food processors, and other appliances with blades before reaching into them.

Urgent Care for Holiday Injuries Near You

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, accidents can still happen. If you’ve sustained a non-life-threatening burn, laceration, or other injury while preparing for the holidays, you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care for treatment. We have urgent care centers across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. And because we’re open 365 days per year with extended hours, you can promptly receive care even if you injure yourself in the evening, on a weekend, or on a holiday. Walk into the location nearest you, book a visit online, or speak to a provider remotely using our 24/7 integrated telehealth service.

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