The holidays are a joyous time but accidents can occur. Every year, hundreds are treated for injuries associated with holiday lights. Even more are seen for injuries tied to Christmas trees and holiday decorations.
Faculty at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) are available for interviews on a host of holiday safety topics including how long to keep those leftovers, how to protect yourself from catching the flu in cramped quarters and how to pack to reduce your chance of injuring your back.
Mishaps can occur regardless of how conscientious you are or how far ahead you plan. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of injury or illness.
For example, if you are using a ladder while stringing lights, make sure someone is holding it at the bottom and that the ladder is in good shape. Keep an eye out for frayed wiring on the lights and protruding nails on the roof.
While those leftovers may look good and smell good, you should probably still pitch them after a few days. Otherwise, you could be courting stomach problems.
Here are several UTHealth holiday safety specialists:
Infectious disease specialist Luis Ostrosky, M.D., can provide information on the major sources of holiday germs and what can be done to reduce exposure. He is a professor of medicine at the UTHealth Medical School and medical director of epidemiology for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
Registered dietitians Carol Wolin-Riklin and Shannon Weston can comment on how to limit holiday weight gain. Wolin-Riklin specializes in nutrition research and education; Weston specializes in nutrition counseling for weight loss/weight maintenance, meal planning and preparation, diabetes education and sports nutrition.
Orthopaedic surgeon Mark Prasarn, M.D., can discuss how to reduce the risk of travel-related injuries caused by hoisting overstuffed suitcases into overhead compartment bins on planes or dragging heavy suitcases through expansive airports. He is on the faculty of the UTHealth Medical School and sees patients at Memorial Hermann-TMC.
UTHealth safety chief Robert Emery, DrPH, can comment on the steps parents need to take when bringing young children to the homes of relatives that may not be child proof. He specializes in safety issues associated with disaster preparedness, radiation safety hazards, industrial safety, occupational health risks and disaster response.