SEVERE WX: Air Quality Alert View Alerts

Safe Holiday Decorating: Leave the Roof to Santa

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 17,000 people will be treated in emergency departments each year for holiday decorating-related falls.

Posted: Nov. 30, 2017 6:36 AM

Holiday decorating can be one of the most joyous times of the year

Scroll for more content...

But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 17,000 people will be treated in emergency departments each year for holiday decorating-related falls.

Tom Waters, M.D., an emergency department physician at Cleveland Clinic, said the first rule for staying safe during the decorating season is to stay off of the roof.

"From an ER physician's standpoint, I wouldn't' recommend getting on the roof," said Dr. Waters. "If you want to hire someone else to do it, it can be costly, but it's obviously much safer."

Dr. Waters said the biggest risk that a person can run when getting onto a roof or a tall ladder is suffering a fall.

He said when most people think of falls, they think of injuries such as foot and ankle sprains, or even broken bones, but it's important to know that falls can also result in more serious injuries to the head, brain or spinal cord, which can be life-altering or even life-threatening.

Traumatic brain injury (or TBI) is what we often think of when professional athletes suffer concussions, but Dr. Waters said the same type of injury can happen from a fall off of a ladder or a roof.

Each year, minor incidents of TBI happen to more than one million people in the U.S.
And while most minor injuries result in treatment and release from hospital emergency departments, approximately 230,000 people are hospitalized each year with TBI and about 99,000 of them end up with a lasting disability.

"If you do need to climb on a ladder, be very careful and have someone spot you," said Dr. Waters. "There is adaptive equipment available nowadays that allows you to hang things on gutters and up high – I recommend that you use those to avoid being on the ladder."

Dr. Waters also said it can be easy to overlook dangers such as electrical wires. He recommends inspecting cords for fraying and damage and not overloading electrical outlets to avoid the risk of electrocution.

Related Content

Article Comments

Medford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Brookings
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 61°
Crater Lake
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 73°
Grants Pass
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Klamath Falls
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Still Hot...
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Latest Video

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Smoke and Haze

Image

Residents Get Stranded On Roads

Image

Peninger Fire Grows To 97 Acres

Image

STATE TROOPER KICKS DOWN FRONT DOOR TO RESCUE FOUR DOGS

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Smoky & Dry Weather

Image

Air Support For Firefighters

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Hot and Dry Today

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Hot & Dry Tuesday

Image

Hendrix Fire

Image

Neighbors Help Knock Down Sterling Creek Fire

Community Events