LEE COUNTY, Fla, — Lee Health said falls are the second leading cause of injuries behind crashes every year.
Syndi Bultman, Lee Health Injury Prevention Coordinator, said the number of falls increases during the holiday season. She added the chances of other health issues and even death caused by a fall increases with age. She shared safety tips for decorating your home for the holidays.
“Step stools, if you’re using those, make sure that they’re open and they’re in the lock position. Don’t ever use a step stool while it’s folded up and leaning against something. And by all means, don’t use furniture,” she said.
Neil Monkman gets all the credit for his extravagant display of Christmas lights on NE 20th St in Cape Coral every year.
But, he said to stay safe, the first step is to grab a sturdy ladder. He said as tedious as it is, he moves it as many as 30 times when decorating around his gutters.
“You should only use a ladder within your reachable distance. If you have to lean your body, it’s time to pick up the ladder and it’s time to move it over,” he said.
He added he takes extra steps to drape trees with lights.
“I actually put the ladder next to the tree, make sure it’s level. And then I’ll actually tie a rope to the tree. Just in case that ladder shifts, keep you from falling,” he said.
To avoid energizing his front lawn, he said he covers cords with heat shrink.
He also said he lifts plugs at least six inches off the ground and secure it on the decoration itself, rather than leave it on the ground. He said that also keeps the electric currents from making contact with the ground.
Bultman added burns are pretty common, too, so she encourages people cooking for the holidays to keep hot liquids away from counter edges.
“Have it further back on the stove. You need to watch for the young kids, so they’re not pulling it over and ending up with burns,” she said.
She said she know it’ll be especially hard on Thanksgiving, but she urges people to eat in moderation, especially if you have a heart-related illness.