Want to avoid the emergency room this Christmas? Watch your step!

Christmas is a time to enjoy with family, not to sit in line at your local accident and emergency unit!

One of the most common causes of injury over Christmas is falls on ice or snow. According to Saskatoon paramedic Troy Davies, people are most vulnerable when stepping out of their cars.

“You’re not really seeing where you’re stepping, and what’s under your vehicle. When you take that first step out, you’ve got all your weight on one leg, and it slips out from under you.”

High heels and ice don’t mix

It’s an issue throughout the winter, but Christmas adds a whole extra set of conditions, as Dr. Alecs Chochinov, current president of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, explains:

“We get people in the evening going to and from the car or to and from a party, falling, and it’s very easy to fracture a wrist or break a hip in the dark if you’re wearing heels that you haven’t worn or if you’ve had too much to drink.”

If you have a fall and torn ligaments, or are recovering from a fracture, we can help with your rehabilitation and return to fitness. Our team of physiotherapists will devise a recovery plan to restore mobility and gently strengthen muscles after injury. Call us for an appointment so we can get you back on your feet with confidence.

Christmas lights injuries

According to a small study published in the journal “Injury”, installing Christmas lights on the outside of your home results in some serious falls from a ladder (65%) and the roof (30%). The median stay in hospital after such as fall was almost 16 days, due to the serious nature of the injuries sustained.

So, if you’ve not hung the lights yet, don’t take any risks. Ask a friend to help, or hire a professional And if you have already hung your light, be equally careful taking them down again – or just leave them until the weather improves. As one of the report’s authors, Dr. Chad Ball, a trauma surgeon at the University of Calgary says:

“It’s typically males that are mostly injured doing these things out on ladders where they probably shouldn’t be. In fact, people die from Christmas light installation, believe it or not.”

Snow shovelling and over-exertion

Just because it’s the holidays, don’t over-do it. Be realistic about your physical fitness and capabilities, especially after several days of over-eating and general indulgence. Watch your back when shovelling snow (see our previous article), and if you do get a sprain or a strain, call us for prompt treatment and an effective recovery plan.

The dangers of decorations

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, December 2016 saw a staggering 407 Christmas-related admissions, with over half those admitted being women.

  • 84 were caused by Christmas lights
  • 40 were caused by Christmas trees and/or their supports
  • 159 were caused by Christmas decorations.

15% of these accidents resulted in strains and sprains, which a physio clinic like ours can treat to restore mobility and movement.

Having a Christmas quiz this year?

Now that sounds like a fun (and safe) activity! So here are few Christmas related questions courtesy of Statistics Canada to get your guests guessing…

Q. How many litres of eggnog were sold in Canada in November 2018?

A. 5.9 million litres, up from 3.3 million the year before.

Q. Name one of the countries Canada exported fresh-cut Christmas trees to in 2016:

A. Full list here!

Q. How many poinsettias (indoor potted plants) were produced in greenhouses in Canada in 2018?

A. 5.9 million

Q. What proportion of Ontario’s households reported using LED holiday lights in 2015?

A. 41% (and we suspect that figure has gone up too)

Q. Which of these town names is NOT a real location in Canada?

  • Candyville
  •  Champagne
  • Cranberry
  • Santatown
  • Noélville
  • Snowflake
  • Stocking Harbour
  • Winterland

A. Santatown (unless you know better of course!)

Q. Where on the web can you play silly games with Santa’s elves and penguins, and also track his progress delivering presents on Christmas Eve?

A. https://santatracker.google.com/.


Happy holidays for us all here at Active Care Physiotherapy.