Decorating Dangers

November 27th, 2013

Neck InjuryWhether it’s wreaths on the door, candles on the mantle or lights on the roof, holiday decorating is a tradition the week of Thanksgiving. One Fort Worth resident was certainly accustomed to using this time to decorate not only his house, but his friends’ and neighbors’, too. But, decking the halls has its pitfalls.

“I don’t even remember what happened,” he explained from the trauma bay at JPS Health Network on November 26. “I woke up here and was told a passerby saw me on the ground and called 911.”

This JPS patient is one of the many who find themselves visiting local emergency rooms and trauma centers with injuries resulting from holiday decorating. Falls, cuts and electric shocks can make decorating a dangerous business. “I recommend my fellow decorators make sure their ladder is on secure and level footing and that they never work alone,” he encouraged.

“We always see an increase in injuries related to holiday decorating,” says Carrie Hecht, director of Trauma Services for JPS. “Cuts, bruises and broken limbs, while painful, do heal, but the dangerous injuries are head trauma. Those types of injuries are what can make the holidays a sad time.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a contributing factor in one-third of all injury related deaths, with falls accounting for 35% of them. TBIs are devastating injuries that can result in life-long physical and mental impairments.

This holiday season, JPS encourages everyone to be careful when using ladders or electricity for holiday decorating. In addition, holiday decorations themselves can cause fires and choking hazards. Help keep your family safe this holiday season.

For more safety tips specific to holiday decorations, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at

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