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Surprising Science

It’s the Most Dangerous — Er, Wonderful — Time of the Year

Infographics tally up our holiday mishaps.

The holiday season is a magical time for family and friend get-togethers, great food, giving and receiving, and making memories. Also, it seems, trips to the emergency room. recently crunched the numbers collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NAIS) cataloging holiday ER visits. Then they made some festive infographics. Er, ho, ho, ho?

These are the kind of injuries revelers have most frequently acquired at this joyous time of year since 2006, head first — a half a million heads, in fact. Ow. Nearly 50,000 poisonings? Yeesh.


Getting Ready

Before everyone arrives, there’s decorating to do. Carefully. It’s non-electric, old-fashioned ornamentation that’s most likely to get you, followed by those twinkly electric lights. And you may pay for annoying neighborhood Grinches with outdoor displays.


Then there’s the grub — what’s an American holiday without too much food? We’ll say one word: broilers. As in, watch out for them. Also kitchen gadgets.


The Festivities Begin

Your home is, sorry, Satan’s deathrap when it comes to holiday gatherings. Especially, for grownups, floors, presumably due to slipping and falling. For everyone else it’s — wait, what — basketballs? Right, not everywhere has snow in December.


But what about gifts? Well…

The most injury-inducing gifts of the 2016 holiday season were gift openers — those little purpose-built knife things — Christmas decorations, and broilers (those broilers again!).

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In fact, gift openers have been a problem since 2006, with wrapping paper coming in second — we wonder if paper cuts get extra value in the stats since they’re so preposterously painful.


Season’s Greetings Anyway!

Without risk, there can be no reward, and now you know just what kind of risks you’ve been taking all along without realizing it. Oh, well. Really, it’s worth it, what with all the joy and good will, etc. So just be careful, and there’s at least a chance you’ll survive to New Years. And to all a good night!


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