From Falling Off a Ladder to Getting Frostbite, Here’s How to Handle Any Holiday Disaster

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Playing From Falling Off a Ladder to Getting Frostbite, Here’s How to Handle Any Holiday Disaster
From Falling Off a Ladder to Getting Frostbite, Here’s How to Handle Any Holiday Disaster Aired December 22, 2016

Accidents can happen at any time, of course, but did you know that over 15,000 injuries are reported from people getting hurt while cooking and decorating?!

We’re wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday—but just in case, Dr. Ian is here to help with tips on what to do if one of these common seasonal mishaps hits.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FALL OFF A LADDER?

Falling off a ladder while putting on or taking off decorations is one of the biggest injuries the ER sees during the season. In fact, an average of 200 people a day come in with this injury, says Dr. Ian. People suffer from broken bones, back injuries and most commonly a concussion, he adds.

Symptoms of a concussion are headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea. “I always advise to go directly to the ER if this happens because with any head injury you do not want to take any chances,” he explains. You can also do something called the flashlight test, which he demonstrates in the video above.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CUT MY FINGER?

The first thing to do is determine how serious of a cut you have, says Dr. Ian. If the cut is deep, squirting blood, and you start to feel dizzy, call 911, he advises. If it’s a nick, follow these directions: Apply direct, firm pressure to the cut with a dish towel, washcloth, or paper towel and hold it above your heart for up to 15 minutes or until the bleeding stops.

After any injury to your hand, your hand will react by swelling. Swelling can lead to stiffness in your hand and fingers, which can may cause a throbbing “Heartbeat in your finger” sensation, he explains, so keeping your hand elevated, at all times, is simple and important.

Once the bleeding has stopped, he recommends applying antibiotic ointment and a bandage or gauze pad, depending on the size of the wound. If it's a very large, deep cut then it may still need stitches, and you should go to the doctor immediately, he adds.

Watch the video above to find out why dull knives can sometimes actually be MORE dangerous than sharp ones.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I STEP ON A BROKEN ORNAMENT?

Here’s another common situation – a glass ornament falls off the tree and you step on it with your bare foot. The number one thing you should do as soon as this happens is immediately soak feet in hot water and salt, says Dr. Ian. Watch the video above to find out why and what to do next.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET FROSTBITE?

Frostbite occurs when the flesh freezes due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures and is most common in fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin. It requires careful medical attention to minimize damage and reduce the likelihood of further harm, says Dr. Ian.

But how do you tell if you have frostbite or frostnip? Dr. Ian breaks it down:

With frostnip, the skin looks pale, but the underlying tissue remains warm, he explains. It’s uncomfortable but doesn’t lead to blisters or scarring. Skin with frostbite turns blue or white and feels hard or frozen and the skin blisters after rewarming.

If you’re dealing with frostbite, immediately move the person to a warm place and remove wet clothing, as well as jewelry that might constrict injured areas, advises Dr. Ian, then get to them to the hospital asap.

Watch the video above to hear his tips on what to do if you can’t get immediate medical attention.

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