A word of caution this holiday season if hosting a party or gathering at your home that includes young ones or seniors. They could be at risk of a serious fall-related injury if your home is strewn with packages and boxes, or not very well-lit. Falls can result in any number of orthopedic injuries including fractures, sprains and strains, and concussions.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons recommend “holiday-proofing” to ensure that your friends and family stay safe during this festive time.
Here are 5 easy ways to ho-ho-ho-liday proof your house:
- Decrease clutter. Clear all entryways, doorways, and stairways of packages and boxes to avoid tripping.
- Turn lights on. Make sure plenty of both outdoor and indoor lights are on around your house when having people over. Pay special attention to hallways and stairs which can be hard to navigate in the dark.
- Secure rugs. Use double-sided carpet tape to secure area rugs to the floor, or remove them altogether for large gatherings. A slip of the toe under a loose rug can send someone flying!
- Edit furniture. Store smaller end tables and chairs away to make it easier for people to circulate around and between rooms.
- Hide breakable glass items. These can shatter if someone accidentally falls or is pushed into them causing serious cuts to the skin.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to designate someone to continually watch over and help both elderly or small/toddler family members when using stairs.
Other holiday staples that present hazards are lit candles and fireplaces as well as busy ovens and stoves. Make sure that you’re always aware of who is hanging around these areas and acting in a safe manner to avoid dangerous burns.
If a serious injury does happen, assess the situation and seek medical help. For an orthopedic injury, please call us at (512) 439-1000 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons and sports injury doctors in Austin or contact us here. Texas Orthopedics also offers a convenient after-hours injury clinic where no appointment is needed.
(Adapted from AAOS-American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)