At Xpress Wellness, we love the holiday season and everything it entails. Between time spent with family, delicious food, and festive decorations, it’s a wonderful time of year. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t downsides to the season. It’s a chaotic couple of months, and there are a lot of variables that can have unfortunate side effects like sickness, accidents, and injuries. Let’s explore a few of the surprising risks that pop up during the most magical time of year.
If you get hurt or sick this holiday season, Xpress Wellness Urgent Care can help. So long as what’s troubling you isn’t life-threatening, we can offer less expensive services with a shorter wait time than an Emergency Room. We’ll help you get back to your family celebrations as quickly and affordably as possible. Find a location near you to get started.
Beautiful lights are synonymous with festivities during the holiday season, but the combination of electric lights, candles, home cooked meals, roaring fireplaces, and decorations can create unexpected fire hazards. The National Fire Protection Association reports that the three most common days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve. U.S. Firefighters also put out an average of 990 home fires started by holiday decorations each year. Nearly 20% are started by Christmas trees.
Not only can these fires cause damage to your home, but they can also burn anyone who gets too close. For minor burns, urgent care centers are the best place to get treated. For first and second-degree burns, you’re better off going to an emergency room. For third and fourth-degree burns, go to the Emergency Room. This guide can help you know how severe your burns are:
- First-degree – affects only the outer layer of skin. Skin is red, dry, and painful, but there are no blisters. Most sunburns are first-degree burns.
- Second-degree – burns through the epidermis (outer layer of skin) to the dermis. Your skin will be red, blistered, swollen, and painful.
- Third-degree – destroys the epidermis and dermis completely and sometimes penetrates the innermost layer. These burns may look charred or blackened.
- Fourth-degree – the most severe burns penetrate both layers of skin and underlying tissues, sometimes reaching the bone and muscle. Typically there is no feeling in fourth-degree burns.
- Car accidents
Traveling for the holidays? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the holidays see more car accidents than non-holidays, and with so many packed together at the end of the year, the risks for accidents are high. Both interstates and city streets are often packed with out-of-town visitors and holiday shoppers who may be in an area they aren’t familiar with. Winter weather like ice and snow can also make this worse. Many people also indulge more in alcohol on holidays, and unfortunately, some of them also choose to drive.
Involved in a major accident? The local Emergency Room will be best equipped to handle your serious injuries. We here at Xpress Wellness would be happy to see you for any minor injuries you incur. Sometimes adrenaline can mask pain and other symptoms for a while, so it’s important to seek treatment for any persistent pain or soreness following the accident.
- Decorating accidents
If you asked someone in early Autumn how long it’s been since they’ve gotten on their rooftops, they’re likely to tell you they haven’t done it since taking down their holiday decorations from last year. Many people only get their ladders out once a year, and a mixture of inexperience and aging equipment can spell disaster. This is doubly true when there is snow and ice on the ground.
Accidents can happen inside too, especially if your family favors a large Christmas tree. The risk is higher for older people and those who are mobility-challenged, since they may be reaching up and around things when they aren’t used to it.
Whether inside or outside, numbers of decorating and fall-related injuries spike around the holidays, and they can lead to lacerations, torn rotator cuffs, broken bones, and other unpleasant injuries. If you take a tumble or pull something while decorating this holiday season, don’t worry! Our staff can patch you right up and get you back to your festivities.
- Christmas toy injuries
Yes, you read that right. The wonderful, magical toys that bring joy to kids every holiday season also have the potential to be surprisingly dangerous. Medical clinics across the nation treat around 150,000 injuries in kids under 14 each year, with non-motorized scooters making up a whopping 21% of injuries, in particular to the head and limbs.
Other cases are caused by kids swallowing toy parts or not following safety rules for new gifts. Sometimes kids also get carried away with toys they can shoot or throw. Building sets, action figures, and toy weapons are also particularly dangerous.
The best way to avoid these kinds of injuries is to be very careful you’re following the directions and supervising your kids when they play with toys they aren’t familiar with yet. Double check the age range, and read some reviews before making a purchase for your kids or someone else’s. If someone does get hurt and needs treatment for a minor injury, come and see us!
- Viral infections
When you combine a huge surge of interstate travel with winter conditions that encourage viruses to flourish, you have the perfect recipe for holiday sickness. While flu season often peaks this time of year, 2022 in particular poses a triple threat. COVID-19 is still spreading on a massive scale, and now it’s joined by a recent surge of RSV cases.
Most of the time, COVID-19, the flu, and RSV don’t require medical treatment. Infected people are usually better off resting, getting plenty of fluids, and waiting out the illness. However, severe cases may require treatment, especially when someone is elderly or immunocompromised.
Get treated at Xpress Wellness Urgent Care
If you get sick or hurt this holiday season but your condition isn’t life-threatening, Xpress Wellness Urgent Care can provide you with the timely, affordable treatment you need. Find a location near you to get started.