Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas could land you in the hospital, study finds

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 1:54 PM

click to enlarge My brother ended up in the emergency room after slipping on wrapping paper. - COURTESY OF ANITA MILLER
  • Courtesy of Anita Miller
  • My brother ended up in the emergency room after slipping on wrapping paper.

About seven years ago, in the midst of Christmas cheer, my 6-year-old brother slipped on wrapping paper and hit his head on the coffee table. The deep gash wasn't serious, but it did require stitches — and evaporated everyone's holiday spirit. (To my now-teenaged little bro: Sorry, this photo was too good not to use.)

When my parents took my brother to Memorial Hospital North on Christmas Day, they were shocked by how busy it was.

They shouldn't have been surprised. Turns out, a lot of people fall victim to Christmas-related injuries, according to a forthcoming study in Advances in Integrative Medicine.

Researchers analyzed 2007-2016 data on product-related injuries from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a probability sample of U.S. hospitals with emergency services.

Over those nine years, emergency departments treated more than 173,000 injuries related to Christmas trees, decorations, presents and Santa impersonators.

More than 80,000 people were injured by "non-electrical decorations," and 36,000 people were injured by "electrical decorations."

Injuries related to Christmas trees, tree stands/supports and tree lights amounted to nearly 55,000. (In case you're wondering, people who went to the emergency room for a tree-related injury were eight times more likely to have been hurt by an artificial tree than by a real one.)

About 2,300 injuries came from Christmas presents. Sadly, 277 children were injured by Santa impersonators.

Almost all people who went to the ER for Christmas-related injuries were Caucasian, the study found. Injuries were most common among children, adults between the ages of 30 and 60, and seniors 70 and older.

Not sure if any of this would have made my brother feel better, but hey, now he's an internet celebrity.

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