specializing in advanced surgical care of hand, wrist, and elbow injuries and conditions

Holiday Safety Tips

Tis the season for making a list and checking it twice, from wrapping to cooking, and decorating to baking. As we hustle and bustle our way to get everything done can sometimes lead to some untimely and unwelcome injuries.

The most common injuries are lacerations, falls and back strains. The Consumer Product Safety Commission report luggage related injuries increase during holiday travel time and contribute to the 75,000 reported annually.

The American Society for Hand Therapy recommends some simple holiday tips for safety:

  • Check ladders for broken hinges, rungs or loose screws, and wear proper footwear.
  • Position ladder an appropriate distance from work space, especially when hanging or installing decorations.
  • Have a friend or family member commit to being your ladder buddy – helping you stabilize and stay focused.
  • Purchase luggage on wheels for ease of transport, and pack light.
  • Place luggage on seat first, then lift into overhead compartment and lift with legs to avoid back strain. Avoid rushing to place bags overhead if connections between flights are tight. Consider placing under the seat instead.

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand reports the most common holiday hand injuries are caused by carving a turkey, ham or roast and that tendon and nerve injuries are caused during meal cleanup (contact with a sharp knife or a broken glass). Here are some tips for keeping your hands safe this holiday

  • Make sure cutting utensils are sharpened, and cut away from the body when slicing meat. Stay focused on your task of cutting by minimizing distractions. Cutting space should be dry and well lit, and utensils should be dry, too.
  • Do not allow young children to carve, cut or chop.
  • Consider spreading your to-do-list over an extended period of time to avoid fatigue and overuse of your muscles and tendons.

If you sustain an injury to your hand such as a laceration or possible broken bone that needs immediate attention go to the emergency department or urgent care center. If there is an injury to a tendon, nerve or a fracture you should contact a hand surgeon.

Some simple safety tips may help your holidays be merry and bright.

Happy Holidays from Hand Surgery Associates!