The holiday season is here bringing joy and happiness.  It also brings a burning passion to hang decorations, decorate trees and place lights across the roof, windows, doors, and walls.  The effort clearly pays off at the end when you witness your home full of holiday spirit.

However, holiday decorating has a certain degree of risk if not done carefully.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 5,800 injuries per year from holiday decorating.  Based on data from the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 15,000 injuries from holiday decorating were seen in emergency departments nationwide in 2012 alone.  250 injuries a day during the holiday season according to the CPSC.

Activities such as hanging lights standing on stairs, lifting heavy decorations and setting the Christmas tree can lead to strains and muscle overuse.  The most common holiday injuries involve falls, trauma, back strains, and lacerations.

Taking that into account, it is recommended to add precaution to avoid injuries when decorating your home for the holidays.  Here there is a prevention checklist to help you avoid injuries during this holiday season:

  • Always stretch before and after any physical activity to loosen the muscles. Do not underestimate the task ahead of you! Decorating involves a lot of physical activity.
  • When lifting heaving items, lift with your legs, not your back.  The average 6.5′ to 8′ Christmas tree weight is between 50 to 70 pounds.
  • Keep carrying packages, keep them close to your center of gravity (closer to your body).  The closer to your spine and center of gravity, the less stress it puts in your back.
  • If you need to carry multiple items, it is better to make multiple trips instead of one.
  • If using a ladder, always inspect it carefully prior to using it.
  • Place the ladder on the level and firm ground.  Do not lean too far to one side.
  • Avoid breakable, heavy and sharp decorations (if possible).