Practice Caution When Using Ladders to Do Your Holiday Decorating

Posted on: 5 October 2016

Holiday decorating can get you in the spirit unless the season is spoiled by injuries, such as sprains, back injuries, or broken bones, which a fall from a ladder can cause. Reports show that each year about 15,000 people receive emergency medical treatment for injuries related to holiday decorating. Many of the injuries occur as the result of falls from ladders while decorating Christmas trees or hanging holiday lights.

But don't let the statistics put a damper on your holiday cheer. Keep your holiday merry by taking the necessary safety precautions while using a ladder to deck your halls.

  1. Use a ladder that's in good shape. Since falls from ladders are a leading cause of musculoskeletal injuries, avoid using an old or damaged ladder that can be dangerous to stand on and climb. Either repair the ladder or replace it to assure safety. Even if you don't think that you've been hurt seriously after a fall from a ladder, any injury that causes pain or makes it difficult to move should be evaluated by an orthopedic specialist, especially if symptoms persist.

  2. Use a ladder only for its intended purpose. In other words, don't try to use a step ladder for a job that requires a higher ladder. Likewise, don't use a tall, straight ladder for a lower job that can be done with a step ladder.

  3. Read the warning labels on a ladder. They are there for a reason. In particular, note the ladder's weight capacity so that your weight in addition to anything you carry up or down the ladder doesn't exceed the maximum weight limit the ladder can support.

  4. Place the ladder properly. The base of a ladder should sit on a solid, level surface to prevent the ladder from moving or shifting out of position. When decorating your roof or hanging holiday lights from your home's eaves and roof line, make certain that an extension ladder extends a minimum of three feet above the roof.

  5. Climb a ladder carefully. When using a ladder for outdoor decorating, clean any mud, ice, or snow from your shoes or boots and from under the base of the ladder before climbing. Take your time as you climb and have both hands on the ladder as you go up or down. Your eyes should be on the ladder and where you place your hands and feet.

  6. Be careful where you stand on a ladder. Don't stand on the top three rungs of a high ladder. Also, never more than one person at a time should stand on a ladder. When using a step ladder, never stand on the top cap of the ladder, even if you need more height.

  7. Avoid reaching while standing on a ladder. Take the few extra seconds to climb down the ladder and get what you need or have another person pass the string lights or decorations up to you. You can lose your footing when reaching for decorations while you are standing on a ladder, and that can lead to falls. Ask someone to hold the ladder on the bottom to further steady it while you do the decorating so that you don't topple over or fall into your Christmas tree. This may look funny in the movies, but in real life, it can result in serious injury.

For more tips or to treat an injury, make an appointment with a healthcare organization such as Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics.


Welcome to Sara's Site

Hi there! My name is Sara Jerba. I'm no doctor, but I'm very familiar with them due to experience. You could say I was a sickly child. Between various allergies and a few other conditions, I got to be very good friends with my doctors and nurses. Although I hate staying overnight in the hospital, I do feel quite at home there. Now, don't feel sorry for me. Most of my conditions have eased or even abated entirely as I've grown up. And none of them were ever life-threatening--just inconvenient. It's actually been very positive in the long run; it's brought a lot of wonderful people and important knowledge into my life that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

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