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Eye-opening holiday accident statistics (and tips to avoid becoming one)

The merriest time of the year is also frequently the most accident-prone. The traditions that many Americans enjoy during the holidays, such as decorating, cooking, gifting toys, and putting up Christmas trees, create certain hazards that can easily be avoided.

Here are some alarming statistics about holiday accidents, as well as some common-sense ways to stay safe during the winter holidays.

Woman hanging lights on balcony deck

An average of 160 decorating-related injuries occur each day during the holiday season.1

You may be imagining Clark Griswold haphazardly stapling lightbulbs to his roof, and your vision would not be far off. Almost half of decorating incidents involve falls, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.1 The most important thing to remember when decorating is to know your physical limits. Lifting, climbing, reaching and awkward twisting motions can create injuries for those who are not used to these movements.

5 tips to avoid decorating-related injuries:

  1. Avoid using a ladder alone to decorate your exterior or interior. Ask a buddy to help.
  2. When picking up heavy boxes of decorations, lift with your legs and keep your back straight.
  3. If you feel unsafe completing any decorating tasks, don't be afraid to ask for help!
  4. Reserve the task of putting up glass ornaments and breakable decor for adults.
  5. Use a large, sturdy stand for your Christmas tree that won't fall over even if it's bumped by a person or climbed by a curious feline.

An average of 1,700 cooking fires break out on Thanksgiving Day each year.1

That is more than three times the average number of cooking fires during every other day of the year! Unsurprisingly, cooking fires are the #1 cause of residential fires, and the holidays involve a lot of time in the kitchen.1 If you plan on cooking this holiday season, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe by following some simple safety protocols.

5 tips to avoid cooking fires:

  1. If you are using a turkey fryer, keep it outdoors at a safe distance from your house and ensure it's on a level surface.
  2. Keep young kids out of the kitchen.
  3. Keep all pot handles turned toward the side or back of the stove.
  4. Do not wear loose clothing, billowy sleeves or scarves while cooking.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher or fire blanket handy just in case.

Children younger than age 15 sustain 152,000 toy-related injuries yearly.2

In 2021, there were more than 152,000 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries to children younger than 15 years of age. A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says choking on small parts and falling off non-motorized scooters are the most common causes of these injuries.2 By following some simple guidelines, we can help keep little ones safe.

5 tips to avoid toy-related injuries:

  1. Follow age guidance and other safety information on the toy packaging.
  2. Enforce wearing of safety gear, such as helmets, for riding toys.
  3. Take notice when older siblings' toys have small parts. Younger siblings will go straight for them!
  4. Keep deflated balloons out of reach of young kids. These are a common choking hazard.
  5. On toys with electronic parts, look for "UL Certified" or "ETL Certified" toy safety certification mark.

Christmas tree fires cost about $12 million in direct property damage annually.3

While the advent of safer LED holiday lights helps to reduce fire risk, Christmas tree fires are still a real possibility. More than half of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems or having a heat source too close to the tree (e.g., fireplace, lamps, candles, heat vents).3 According to the National Fire Protection Association, the drier the tree is, the more of a fire risk it poses.

5 tips to avoid Christmas tree fires:

  1. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  2. Add water daily to keep your tree from drying out.
  3. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
  4. Never string together more than three sets of lights and be sure to avoid overloading electrical outlets.
  5. Always turn off tree lights and extinguish candles before going to bed. 34% of Christmas tree fires break out between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.3

Accident Insurance from Allstate Benefits

Allstate Benefits offers Group Accident Insurance that may help employees pay for covered hospitalizations, injuries, treatment and services due to a covered accidental injury. The coverage works alongside any other medical insurance the insured person has. Also, the cash benefits can be used however the insured wishes, such as copays and deductibles, other bills, groceries…or even new holiday decorations!

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