Story by: Kevin Wheatley on December 19, 2022
Unexpected trips to the hospital can spoil holiday fun for families and friends as they gather to celebrate.
“Every year, we see patients experience preventable injuries during the holidays,” said Brit L. Anderson, M.D., physician with Norton Children’s Emergency Medicine, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “Norton Children’s encourages families to take extra precautions to ensure they spend their time celebrating with loved ones instead of visiting one of our emergency departments.”
Help keep your families and friends safer — and out of emergency rooms — throughout the holidays by keeping the following tips in mind during the festivities.
With millions of Americans traveling this month, motor vehicle crashes pose serious and sometimes fatal hazards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 10,000 people were killed in crashes during the first quarter of 2022, the highest number of first-quarter traffic fatalities since 2002.
“Every year thousands of children are hurt or killed in motor vehicle crashes, and a lot of these injuries can be prevented through proactive measures,” said Sharon J. Rengers, injury prevention coordinator for Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness. “By taking a few simple steps, families can mitigate the risks associated with roadway travel and make sure their children stay safer during the holidays.”
Accidental injuries and choking hazards
As families and friends gather to celebrate the holidays, helping kids avoid accidental injuries is of utmost importance, especially if the home typically doesn’t entertain children.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) estimates that 152,800 emergency department patients 14 and younger arrived at hospitals with toy-related injuries in 2021. Of those, 143,200 were patients 12 and younger, and 76,900 were patients 4 and younger.
Toy-related accidents can be fatal. Two kids 12 or younger died from toy-related injuries in 2021, down from 11 in 2020 and 16 in 2019, according to CPSC.