The holidays bring families together from across the country. Warm fires, turkeys shellacked to a high gloss, mountains of mashed potatoes and dozens of sides conjure feelings of coziness and warmth and satisfaction of being overstuffed in an overstuffed chair. Unfortunately, all that comfort and bliss comes at a high cost.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 12 fatalities and an estimated 14,500 emergency rooms visits in November and December of 2014, and those numbers are only the result of holiday decorations. The holidays don’t just host family gatherings; they also hold a host large and small risks that threaten your family during the holiday season, like these excerpted from Health.com:
- That generous spread looks appetizing, but it’s full of tricky bones and giblets floating ominously in the gravy boat. Choking can be deadly, but serious injuries can affect those who survive, including a lacerated trachea or perforated bowel.
- Food allergy/food poisoning. Allergies can develop at any time in your life, which means that Aunt Mary’s famous pecan pie that you’ve enjoyed every year since you can remember might prove to be your undoing. Knowing your allergies and asking about ingredients might save your life, so make sure to keep a list on your person (in case of a reaction), and carry an Epi-pen if you have a prescription for one.
- Heart attack. Eating high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sodium foods in excess can leave you dangerously dehydrated. That thicker blood, coupled with the blood pressure spike from listening to 8-year-old Tommy’s 45-minute drum solo, can put you in the emergency room if you’re not careful. Drink some extra water, avoid alcohol, and try to eat in moderation when you can.
- Burns/Smoke Inhalation. Between the miles of electrical cabling, the 400-degree oven, the tea light centerpiece, the overloaded circuits and the roaring fireplace, fire is a very real risk. Inhaling smoke or toxic fumes from burning plastic or insulation can end a meal with a trip to the emergency room for the whole family. A misplaced dish towel can lead to a kitchen fire within minutes. Make sure all small children are safely in the other room when you’re cooking, and supervised at all times.
- Auto accidents. Last, but not least, everyone is rushing around to pick up those final ingredients or make it home for dinner in time. Maybe you realized last minute that you forgot the cranberry sauce, or that you misread the invitation. No matter what the reason, stay calm, keep to the speed limit, and be patient – everyone else wants to get home, too.
- Drunk drivers. We cannot stress this enough: do not drink and drive. Do not let your loved ones drink and drive. If you can avoid driving at all, do so, because you cannot stop others from doing the wrong thing. Drunk drivers are a menace on the road, contributing to needless deaths, catastrophic injuries and untold amounts of property damage. Please be safe and be smart.
At Crandall & Pera Law, we hope you won’t need our services this holiday season, but we want you to know that we’re here for you when you need us. From our family to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and remember that our experienced Kentucky and Ohio personal injury lawyers will fight for you and yours when the unthinkable happens.