Avoiding The Emergency Room Through The End of 2013

Posted on December 4, 2013

You can expect a lot of articles in the media over the coming weeks focused on how to stay safe in the lead-up to the holidays, and with good reason.  There are a number of hazards at this time of the year that get overlooked, and those hazards can end up sending you to the hospital when all you want to do is celebrate the holidays with loved ones.  Thankfully, a new report features some important safety advice from a number of doctors in Pennsylvania that all holiday revelers could benefit from.

Although it may seem ridiculous to think about, there’s actually a fairly substantial number of injuries that result from something as seemingly mundane as opening a Christmas gift.  In fact, the report references The Patient Poll, which found that a full 17% of citizens in the state of Pennsylvania either know someone who was injured in this manner or were themselves the victim of such an injury.

If you’re unwrapping standard wrapping paper, then there probably won’t be a problem.  However, some people will bring out scissors or a knife to get through boxes that can’t easily be pried open, and when frustration mounts, an injury could arise when that sharp item slips from your grasp.  You may also end up cutting yourself on sealed plastic that when broken apart may form jagged edges.  Be careful in either situation.

This is also the time of the year when people tend to lose track of what they’re putting into their system.  An individual at a holiday party could drink far too much alcohol, something that proves dangerous if that person then gets behind the wheel.  Stay in control no matter the situation.  Plan ahead to have a designated driver or alternate transportation if you’re going to drink.

Also watch your caffeine intake.  You may feel that you need to consume an energy drink or excessive amounts of coffee to get through the exhausting holidays, but you should never let these take the place of proper rest.  Although you may receive a temporary boost, when fatigue does set in, it will hit you fast, and you don’t want to be behind the wheel of an automobile when that happens.

You also want to approach prescription drugs safely.  If you have a medicine cabinet filled with prescriptions from times past and you throw a holiday party with a bunch of people, the last thing you want is for someone to pilfer your leftover medications for their own recreational use.  When you’re through with a prescription, get rid of it appropriately; your community may have some type of program in place for just such a thing.

Finally, don’t let distractions of the holidays carry over into driving.  If you’re on the way to pick up a gift, a text to someone asking what they want for Christmas can wait until you’re parked.

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