The holidays are supposed to be a season of joy and excitement, but they can actually be a time for increased injury totals and more frequent trips to the emergency room. According to the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 250 people are hurt every day when the holiday season comes back around.
The CPSC did a study in 2012 and found that the amount of injuries was on the rise. That year, there were about 15,000 injuries related to decorating alone, and this just counts the number of people who actually went to the ER. The number had increased in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and it reached a new high in 2012, as well. Every year, there were a minimum of 12,000 such injuries.
Types of Injuries
The types of injuries vary, but the 2012 study found that falls were the most common way in which people were hurt (34 percent). This is not surprising, as falls are also high in workplace injuries and recreational injures on a consistent basis. With people using ladders and decorating roofs, it was to be expected that this category would remain high.
The second-most common type of injury was a cut or laceration -- these accounted for 11 percent of the total. Right below that, at 10 percent, were back strains.
Fire departments also reported that decorations provided an increased danger. In about 200 fires every year, the blaze was started by a Christmas tree. Tragically, 20 people were hurt and 10 people died in these accidents. In addition, property damage was assessed at $16 million.
Candles started their own fair share of fires. In the report, it was estimated that these fires caused $308 million in damages in just three years. They also caused about 680 injuries and 70 deaths.
If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence -- a decoration-related fire in an apartment building, for example, or a balze caused by a faulty product -- you may be able to seek compensation after the incident. Always make sure you know your rights.
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