Spread the good cheer, but be safe

Most folks are in the holiday spirit these days.

The lights are sparkling on homes and Christmas trees, rekindling fond memories of years gone by. Shoppers crowd the malls and skaters cavort around  colorful ice rinks.

As Hanukkah starts, many observers eagerly light Menorahs, play with dreidels and enjoy potato latkes.

Kwanzaa brings out the beauty in African culture and cuisine.

And Signature Medical Group would like to spread the good cheer. But we also want you to stay safe. With orthopedics being our specialty, we know that many people are hurt from falls time of year.

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 decorating injuries were seen in emergency rooms during November and December 2012, bonejoint.net reports. Most emergency room visits are due to falls and cuts, but about 10 percent of holiday injuries are from back strains.

Bonejoint.net offers these tips to stay safe during the holidays:

  • Follow the “Rule of Three’’ and other ladder safety rules. An eight-foot ladder needs to be placed two feet out from a wall. A 12-foot ladder needs to be angled out three feet. Maintain three points of contact with the ladder for safety. When climbing or standing, make sure two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot are on the ladder at all times.
  • Use step stools or stepladders instead of climbing on chairs or other pieces of furniture to decorate indoors.
  • Don’t drink alcohol when decorating high places or stringing lights on the eaves.
  • Use proper safety equipment.
  • Wear tightly tied shoes or boots.
  • Avoid moving heavy or awkward objects without assistance.

One of the best ways to prevent pain and injuries is to exercise regularly, experts recommend.

Your body needs movement and oxygen to stay supple and pain-free. Exercise improves your balance. It also increases circulation and sends more oxygen-rich blood to nourish your muscles and your joints.

If you should suffer a sprain, strain, broken bone or torn ligament, know that Signature Medical Group is nearby to help. You can often see our orthopedic specialists the same day you make an appointment. And we offer convenient hours at our Orthopedics Now! clinics in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

During the holidays, as well as any time, it’s important to have good healthcare. Choose well. Choose Signature.