Tips to stay safe while decorating for the holidays

Decorating for the holidays is a tradition for many families, but this year don't let a trip to the emergency room be part of it. (Source: CNN)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 12:51 PM PST
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(CNN) – Holiday preparations are underway and decorations are going up – but don’t let them take you down.

Decorating for the holidays is a tradition for many families, but this year don’t let a trip to the emergency room be part of it.

Dr. Jason Milk, an emergency medicine physician with the Cleveland Clinic, said most emergency visits from holiday decorating are from people falling while putting up lights or other decorations around the house.

Milk said to check wind and rain conditions, and if you use a ladder or stepstool, to put it on stable ground.

He said if the weather is wet, windy or snowy, you’re more likely to slip, and that it might be best to put off decorating until conditions improve.

Milk added that if you’re going to be up more than a few steps to make sure that there’s somebody by your side to hold the ladder and provide additional support, and to not use the upper step which is usually marked “do not stand.”

Milk said people can avoid electrical injuries by examining lights to make sure they’re not frayed or broken, and by checking extension cords and outlets.

Milk said if you’re unsure whether your electrical equipment is in bad condition, it’s best to get new equipment or advice from an electrician “before you’re overloading an outlet or a power socket.”

If you do get hurt, especially from a fall from a significant height, Milk said it’s always best to see a doctor.

“In these circumstances it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and certainly we’d like the opportunity to intervene early in these situations,” he said.