The holidays are supposed to be the most joyous time of the year! When it comes to spreading cheer and giving thanks, it’s all fun and games until someone falls off the ladder trying to hang those fancy new Christmas lights. Our staff at Urgent Care of Mercer County has curated a few tips to keep you safer this holiday season.

Don’t Overdo The Decorating

While it’s tempting to try to outdo the annoying neighbor’s overdramatic light display, safety should always be your top priority. Ladder falls are amongst the most common holiday injuries, often paired with stories about hanging lights or some other decoration. If you’re using a ladder to do any decorating this year,  use the ladder’s manual to ensure you’re using it safely and correctly. Always check that your ladder is locked in the open position and on even ground before stepping on it. Ladders aren’t the only cause of decoration concern: make sure any plugs and extension cords are out of the way! Most people aren’t watching the ground as they walk, and tripping over a cord can lead to a very nasty fall.

Careful With The Candles

Candles are not only a lovely way to achieve a pine-scented home and crackling sounds, they’re also an absolute necessity for many when it comes to the holidays. Hanukkah doesn’t feel complete without a Menorah – but these waxy home staples can pose serious dangers in the home. Home fires during the holiday season are unfortunately quite common. Make sure your candles are away from anything highly flammable, such as untreated wood or chemicals. Whenever possible, candles should be blown out before bed, and never left to burn while unattended. The same can be said about Christmas trees; Freshly cut Christmas trees need special attention and care to avoid any fiery mishaps. Be sure to hang lights that are suited for real trees (make sure the lights don’t get too hot), and place your tree away from fireplaces and heaters.

Easy On The Alcoholic Egg Nog

If you’re anything like many Americans, you impatiently await the first winter day that stores start stocking your favorite eggnog. While it’s perfectly understandable to want to wind down during the holidays with a glass of your alcohol of choice, it’s vital that you drink responsibly. You’d be surprised how many urgent care trips were caused because of a tipsy fall on Christmas Eve. When enjoying alcohol during the holidays, pace yourself. If you have a friend who doesn’t drink, ask them to keep an eye out for you (and drive you home if you need it).

Avoid Icy Road Trips 

Need to pick up some flour for those last-minute Christmas cookies? Reconsider driving in cold conditions when it’s not totally necessary. It’s not difficult to skid or lose control on ice, especially when there’s black ice. If you must take a trip in snow, sleet, or ice, be sure to drive safely. Never go over the speed limit, and stay in your lane; Avoid erratic turns and lane switches. Paying close attention to the drivers around and in front of you can help you avoid accidents. If you see several cars in front of you go around a mysterious patch in the road, it’s safe to assume that it could be ice, and it’s best to follow suit by going around it.

Keep Hygiene In Mind

What do you get when you mix cold air with a host of people gathering in one place? The perfect opportunity to get sick! While viruses like the flu aren’t caused by cold weather, the frosty air can exacerbate some respiratory illnesses, like bronchitis. All it takes is one invisible cough droplet to get you sick with contagious bronchitis as well. Remember to wash your hands frequently during the holidays, and avoid touching your face. Since many holidays fall into flu season, it’s recommended that you consider getting vaccinated ahead of time. 

Walk-In Urgent Care & Illness Treatment in Hamilton & Trenton, NJ

With caution and planning, your holiday season can be both safe and exciting! Should you run into a snafu during the season for cheer, Urgent Care of Mercer County is here to aid you. Our staff is made of experienced doctors and nurses who are experts in the field of injury treatment. Don’t worry if you don’t have an appointment – we gladly accept walk-ins, and get our patients seen as quickly as possible. For questions, please call 609-890-4100.