Holiday Hazards

Falls and motor vehicle accidents are leading causes of Traumatic Brain Injury, according to the CDC. Falls are more common in children and older adults, but winter ice and holiday decorating activities make this time of year a particularly dangerous one. Holiday decorations and candles can be a cause of electrical shocks and house fires. The stress and hectic pace of holiday preparation result in back injuries, cuts, burns and even food poisoning. Car accidents are also a major concern due to high volume traffic of people traveling, and winter conditions that make roads more treacherous. Paying attention to your safety, and always having someone else to lend a helping hand or take care of you in the event of injury is important as we are preparing for all the holidays that occur in the last two months of the year.

An infographic titled 8 Most Common Holiday safety hazards
An infographic titled 8 Most Common Holiday safety hazards


During the last two months of the year, about 200 people a day suffer decoration-related injuries. Most injuries are related to falling off ladders, stairs, furniture, rooftops and porches. The results are: fractures, concussions, and muscle pulls.

Electric Shocks

Thousands of people are treated each holiday season after sustaining an electrical shock. Electric incidents are mostly caused by carelessness and misuse of the decorations and can be the cause of cardiac arrests and tissue and nerve damage among others.


Christmas trees and decorations account for almost 2,000 fires each year. Thousands of candle-related fires happen during the holidays, with Christmas and New Year’s Day seeing most candle fires. The winter season also sees a rise in heating, cooking, and electrical fires.

Car Crashes

Car crashes cause most injuries and fatalities during the holiday season. There are more drivers on the road. They are also stressed, rushed, and sometimes driving impaired. Fatigue and poor weather conditions can often be a factor.

Food Poisoning

Foodborne illnesses are most common around the holidays. Lack of hygiene while preparing or reheating food ruins numerous winter holidays each year. Storing cleaning products and chemicals near food or not using original containers can lead to accidental poisoning. Consuming leftovers that were not stored/refrigerated properly can cause illness.

Guest Safety

Visitors who are unfamiliar with your house layout are more likely to trip and fall without proper lighting. Curious children may go through cabinets and people’s things, often finding medicines and other substances that can be lethal.

Cuts and Burns

Packaging-related injuries resulted in approximately 6,000 emergency-room visits in 2006. Excitement, rushing, complacency and fatigue can be dangerous when combines with sharp utensils. Numerous cuts, lacerations and burns are sustained while preparing holiday meals.

Back Injury

Over 84,000 people were treated for injuries related to carrying luggage in 2015. Rushing and the frustration of the holiday season make people forget to use proper lifting techniques.

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