It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and with all of the merrymaking, injuries can unfortunately find a way to ruin the fun. Whether you go all out with the holiday decor, are opening gifts with extended family, or cooking a simple festive feast, there are a number of injuries you should be especially cautious of this time of year. Here are some of the top five ways injuries that occur during the holidays:

Ladder Falls

According to the CDC roughly 5,800 people per year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations.  More than half of these injuries were caused by falls from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors. So if you’re getting ready to brave the ladder climbing to hang your outdoor lights, be sure to have someone spotting you, or consider hiring a professional. Already have your lights up? Be sure to be equally careful taking them down!

Extension Cords

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that about 4,000 injuries associated with electric extension cords are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year, as well.  Half of these injuries include fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains from people tripping over extension cords. Burns and electric shock can also occur. Extension cords often accompany holiday lighting both indoors and out, so be sure to secure them to prevent tripping, only purchase cords with the UL safety mark, and don’t overload your cords, either.

Space Heaters

We don’t suffer such extreme temperatures as our northern neighbors this time of year, but tens of thousands of injuries are reported in emergency rooms each year, nonetheless. We’ve all heard tragic news stories of space heater usage going wrong, and thermal burns can occur and are easily avoidable.  Be sure to test your old space heaters before prolonged use, and always be sure to follow manufacturer directions and keep them away from small children.

Opening Gifts

Believe it or not, opening presents results in a number of holiday injuries as well. We all run into the hurried excitement of ripping gifts open only to come across a pesky box that can’t be pried open with our bare hands. Take precaution when reaching for sharp objects to help solve that problem, no lacerations needed on Christmas morning!


We all know how hectic it can be cooking for special occasions–whether your dinner party is large or small–so if you’ll be donning an apron over the holidays, stay focused and avoid accidental burns. Keep those hot pads easily at hand, and keep little ones away from the stove!

We hope the holidays are nothing but merry for your this year, but if you should have the misfortune of an injury, we’re just a phone call away to help you with your physical therapy needs!