Christmas time should be filled with fun and laughter, but for roughly 250 individuals each day from December to January, injury interrupts the Christmas fun. Emergency rooms have seen an increase in Christmas related injuries every year since 2009. More specifically, Christmas decorating injuries. We want to help you stay happy and healthy this holiday, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you avoid injury while decorating this Christmas.

Decorate Sober

Christmas festivities often involve drinking and laughing with family, but you should save the cocktails until the decorating is completed. Painting under the influence can quickly lead to falls and mishandling of tools that cause lacerations. Taking your decorations down is just as important and needs to be done when you’re sober as well.
Practice Ladder Safety – ladders result in more Christmas decorating injuries than anything else. By practicing basic ladder safety, you can ensure you won’t be taking an unexpected tumble to the ground. Have someone stand at the base of the ladder to stabilize it while you climb and decorate. Before you begin to rise, check the maximum weight limit of the ladder and make sure it can support the weight of yourself plus your decorations.

Choose Your Tree Placement Wisely

Decorating the tree is an important tradition for many families, but before you begin hanging the garland and lights, you should check the placement of your tree. Keep trees away from fireplaces, candles, and heat vents in your home. If you have a real tree, be sure you’re prepared to water it regularly to prevent a potential house fire. After choosing a location for your tree, it’s a good idea to test all of your smoke detectors to see if they’re working correctly.

Get Medical Attention When Needed

Sometimes even with the best preparation, accidents happen. If you suffer from a fall, laceration, or other injuries while decorating, get it checked out. Even a simple back strain can lead to more severe pain and swelling if it isn’t treated correctly. Emergency rooms work even on Christmas day to provide your family with the safety and medical care that you need, but they can’t help you if you don’t reach out. If you’re taking on a large Christmas decorating project, it’s best to ask friends or family to help you. If you or a loved one suffers a severe injury, don’t hesitate to call 911.