Fall Hazards and the Holidays

20161210_190140-300x169From decorating mishaps to shopping accidents – there are any number of ways you can be injured in a fall accident over the holidays. In fact, hospital emergency rooms report that falls are one of the primary reasons why people end up visiting ERs at this time of year. There is more activity in and around the home during the holiday season, and that places people at a higher risk for accidents. Decorating-related falls, for instance, are quite common. Falls from ladders, step stools, and other equipment while trying to hang decorations are a primary cause of holiday ER visits a year.

Children may also be at a higher risk of falls during the holiday season. They are, obviously, excited to receive their gifts and very often, those gifts come with wheels. Remember, when you give a child a tricycle, bicycle, or rollerblades, he is likely to want to test it out it immediately. If you are gifting a set of wheels for your child or grandchild this holiday season, make sure you buy protective equipment to go along with it. Don’t rely on the child’s parents or caregivers to buy protective equipment later. Do the right thing and buy helmets and other protective gear and gift these to the child along with the set of wheels. Remember, a fall off a bicycle can have serious consequences, possibly resulting in serious head injuries.  

Older adults are much more likely to suffer falls when they’re hanging up lights and decorations. Increasing this likelihood is mixing alcohol with decoration responsibilities. A fall is much more likely to occur when you’re trying to balance yourself on a ladder after a few drinks. Also, keep an eye on children who are assisting adults in hanging up decorations.

It’s not just at home that you’re at risk of a fall. The Christmas season also sees tricky patches of ice and snow that can pose a serious fall hazard outdoors. Walking conditions can be extremely treacherous during the holiday season, and many fall accidents occur outside or around grocery stores, malls, supermarkets, and other commercial areas. Keep a sharp lookout for thin layers of black ice which can be difficult to see but can cause you to slip. Look for accumulations of snow outside that can cause nasty slips and trips. Slippery floors, poor visibility, and larger crowds of holiday shoppers are perfect conditions for a dangerous fall.

Remember, it’s not just external conditions that increase your risk of a fall, but also your own personal distraction levels. Holiday festivities increase the chances that you will be distracted or preoccupied, lowering your alertness levels, and increasing the risk of a nasty tumble. It’s easy to get distracted by the colorful window decorations, or the beautiful weather outside, but remember, a fall during this time will not only ruin your holidays but could also leave you with permanently long-term health consequences.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured as a result of others’ negligence across Indiana. You or a loved one might suffer significant and life-long injuries as a result of a fall.  Contact our office today to better determine if your injuries are related to the negligence of an individual or a business. Don’t delay.