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Stethoscope intertwined with Christmas decorations

5 Top Causes for ER Visits During the Holidays (and How to Avoid Them)

The Holiday season is finally here! The holidays bring joy, celebration, and time with the ones we love. However, the most festive time of year is also one of the busiest for emergency rooms, with thousands of Americans requiring urgent care annually. Here are the top 5 reasons for emergency care clinic visits and what you can do to keep them from spoiling your holiday events.

1. Decorating

Colorful glistening lights and grand ornamented Christmas trees are large part of what makes this season so magical. However, holiday decorating is a labor-intensive process that can be extremely hazardous if not done safely. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), as many as 6,000 people rush to ER year due to falls while decorating, the majority of which occur due to unstable ladders.

Keep your decorating traditions accident-free by only using steady ladders and never standing on the top two steps. The more the merrier, so always ask for a helping hand from a family member or friend when carrying and setting up heavy objects such as trees and large figurines.

2. Kitchen Injuries

Holiday entertaining is exciting, especially when done for your closest friends and family. However, it can also be extremely hectic and stressful. The combination of stress, sharp objects, and high temperatures can lead to deep cuts and burns, both of which require immediate emergency care.

Begin planning your menu well in advance, and give yourself plenty of time to prepare each dish. Also, avoid using recipes and kitchen tools you are not already familiar with. If you find yourself flustered or distracted due to crowds gathering in the kitchen as you cook, step away for a short breather. This will help minimize your stress level, which is key in avoiding injuries while cooking.

3. Over Consumption of Alcohol and Food

From glazed ham to eggnog, Christmas cookies, stuffing, cocktails, roast beef, and champagne, there’s a lot for our taste buds to look forward to around the holidays. While enjoying great food and drinks is an essential component of every celebration, there are serious risks to overdoing it. Eating more than you should threatens more than just your waistline, especially for heart patients. A study conducted by the American Heart Association in 2000 shows that overeating quadruples the chances of experiencing dangerous chest pain symptoms or a heart attack. You can enjoy all of the foods you love, but pay attention to portion size. Eating on a smaller plate can help you avoid overindulging.

No one should have a holiday celebration cut short due to a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver. Sadly, drunk driving is the most common reason for alcohol-related emergency room visits during the holidays. Keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe, and do not get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverages, but do so responsibly.

4. Disrupted Health Routines

Many health conditions require routine medical care in order to maintain wellness. The excitement and preparations for upcoming holiday festivities leads many to forget medications and put off important appointments. While rescheduling a regular check up is harmless, a missed dialysis appointment almost guarantees an emergency trip to an urgent care clinic. Failure to take daily medications can be equally dangerous for a person with diabetes or high blood pressure.

Revisit your calendar and make sure that you are up-to-date on all important doctor’s appointments to avoid a health emergency during the holidays. Always carry your medications and set reminders for yourself to help keep your doses on schedule.

5. Depression

Although the holiday season is full of joyous occasions, it can be particularly difficult for some. Those with depression may experience increased feelings of sadness, especially if they are spending the holidays alone. This can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.

If you suffer depression, be sure to seek help from a professional and spend as little time by yourself as possible.

Emergency Care and the Holiday Season

The most common reasons behind emergency room visits during the holidays can be avoided. Nevertheless, accidents can still happen. Take the time to find the nearest 24 emergency care clinic in case you need it. A walk-in emergency room such as Advance ER can accommodate your needs quickly so you can get back to celebrating in no time.

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