ER Director: Falls are one of the biggest holiday-related injuries

AUSTIN, (KXAN) — ‘Tis the season of holiday injuries and Emergency Director Dr. Ross Tobleman said these holiday mishaps can be prevented with some precautions.

Tobleman is the Emergency Room director at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Round Rock and he said falls are one of the biggest holiday-related injuries and dangers they see and treat. Falls from roofs, ladders, chairs and electrical burns are all injuries relating to unsteady surfaces that people are using to deck the halls.

It is estimated that ER visits increase by more than 13,000 between November and January, which could make anyone’s holiday a lot less cheerful and bright.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 33 percent of holiday decorating injuries are caused from falls off of ladders and it is predominately males between the ages of 60 to 85.

51 percent of December home decoration fires are started by candles, compared to 35 percent from January to November. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Baylor Scott and White Medical Center provided KXAN with some tips to stay safe while gearing up for the holiday season:

  • Follow the instructions and ventilate the area when using artificial snow on windows or other surfaces — it can irritate your lungs.
  • Tree decorations need to be kid-friendly. Move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top.
  • Plants i.e., poinsettias can be poisonous to kids and pets. Keep them out of reach and immediately dispose of fallen leaves.
  • Don’t drink and decorate. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying adult beverages responsibly but, overindulging while decorating sends plenty of celebrants to the ER each year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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