13 December 2004


Have you put up your Christmas tree? Aside from defective Christmas lights which can cause electrical problems and burn your whole neighborhood, here's something more you should bear in mind when you put up that Christmas tree.

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Deck the halls, but don't fall doing it, U.S. health officials warned on Thursday.

About 5,800 Americans are expected to be treated in emergency rooms for falls that occur while decorating Christmas trees and hanging holiday ornaments, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Decorating-related injuries account for about 1 percent of the 1.9 million injuries from falls each season, it said.

Hanging lights and mounting and decorating trees are two common activities that lead to falls during the period, considered to run from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 for the purposes of the CDC study.

"Most of these injuries are preventable," the Atlanta-based agency said in a report that urged Americans to be more careful when using ladders and better aware of other hazards in the home during the holidays.

An estimated 17,465 injuries from falls occurred during the past three holiday seasons, according to the CDC study, the first to analyze such injuries across the nation.

The majority occurred among younger adults between the ages of 20 and 49, with men 40 percent more likely to suffer such an injury. Roughly a third of all the injuries were fractures, half of them caused by falls from ladders.

[Reuters Health]

Be careful in decorating your Christmas tree, guys.

A fracture is the last thing you might want for a Christmas gift.

Your best option is to have someone hold the ladder for you while you put that Christmas star on the top of the tree. Don't be too adventurous, ok?

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