A white Christmas is everyone’s wish, but navigating the snow and cold can land some folks in the ER during the holidays.

Luckily, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has some helpful hints on having a safe and happy holiday.

“Cold weather months put many people at greater risk of avoidable injuries,” said Dr. William Jaquis, president of ACEP.

“Hopefully this holiday season brings you comfort and joy, not a trip to the emergency department. But, if you need to see an emergency physician, we are working through the holidays and every day to be there for you,” he said in an ACEP news release.

The physicians’ group notes that:

  • Snow shoveling sends approximately 11,500 people to emergency rooms each year.
  • The cold weather, along with physical exertion, can lead to falls, injuries and heart attacks. Know your limits, especially if you’ve been injured before.
  • Dress for the cold and stay hydrated and avoid overexertion.
  • If you’re decking out your house for the holidays, be careful when hanging lights or lifting heavy boxes.
  • If you must go on the roof, know how to use a ladder safely and have a buddy to help.
  • Keep candles away from curtains and other fire hazards. Keep small lights or decorations out of the reach of kids and pets.

The ER physicians urge everyone not to overindulge. “This is a special time of year, please celebrate responsibly,” Jaquis said. “And consider taking steps to improve one of your most important gifts — your health. Practice self-care, get plenty of rest, exercise and try to stay as stress-free as possible.”

More information

For more on having a safe holiday, head to the National Safety Council.

Source: HealthDay

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