Deck the halls while avoiding falls and other disasters this holiday season

Health

A sign welcomes visitors on December 22, 2017 to “Arbo & Santa’s Dog Park”, a residential front yard full of Christmas decorations set up by “Mr. Holiday”, a resident of Washington, DC who celebrates every single holiday of the year. / AFP PHOTO / Eva HAMBACH (Photo credit should read EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Americans are decking the halls for the next big holiday, but don’t let your Christmas or Hanukkah decorations force you to make an unscheduled stop at Urgent Care or the Emergency Room.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released a new study that found there is an average of 160 decorating-related injuries every day during the holiday season. The CPSC said that adds up to about 14,800 people being treated in emergency rooms in 2019. Nearly half of the injuries involved a fall of some kind.

Experts say to avoid decorating alone, and make sure you are standing on solid ground. If using a ladder, make sure it’s stable and won’t slide when you stand on it.

Other decorating hazards include dry Christmas trees and candles left burning. The CPSC reported that from 2016 to 2018 there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires in November and December each year. Those fires resulted in 30 deaths, 180 injuries and millions of dollars in property losses.

If you’re investing in an artificial tree, make sure it is marked as “fire resistant” on the label. If you have a live tree, make sure it has enough water and check it often.

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