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Tis the season for holiday injuries

Dec 24, 2020

Photo by Kevin Fitzgerald on Unsplash

Tis the season for holiday injuries

By Eric Zabat, M.D.

Every December families around the world come together to celebrate the holidays.

Bread is broken, traditions are renewed, and gifts are exchanged.

Locally, this is no exception; I like to think the Philadelphia area embraces the holidays like no other.

However, there is a small downside to all the revelry that accompanies our diverse celebrations – an increase of injuries.

During December, my colleagues and I tend to see an uptick in injuries that are related to the holidays.

Here are some basic injuries we see and how you and your loved ones can avoid them, and in turn avoid coming to see me.


Common broken bones that appear over the holidays are wrists, ankles and shoulder blades. Most are the results of falls. Wet shoes cause slick spots that turn dangerous. Stairs become slippery. Even tripping over our four-legged friends can result in a fracture. Again, being aware of the terrain, whether inside or out, can prevent fractures of every kind.


Slips and falls on slick ice, falling off ladders and roofs putting up decorations, trips and falls while walking or exercising. We see them all. Concussions are serious injuries that will really put a damper on your holiday plans. Make sure you watch where you walk, take smaller steps, and have good fitting shoes. Also, at night make sure you can see where you are going. People hit slick spots at night… a lot.


Both kids’ and adults’ gifts come entombed/encased in hard plastic casing. You know the ones – tough hard, glued plastic you cannot rip and that require a decent pair of scissors. Often, people are in a rush or distracted and the scissors or knife they meant to cut into the plastic with cuts into them. Hands are particularly at risk but punctures to the torso are not uncommon. If you have ANY sharp instrument in your hand, even scissors, give it your full attention. Your children or spouse would much rather wait a few extra seconds for their present than be loading up the car and bringing you to the emergency room.

This list of pointers may seem common sense, but this is 2020. Paying a little bit more attention this next week may be the difference between spending precious holiday time with family and friends… and spending it with me or my colleagues in the Emergency Room. Either way we are here for you when you need us.

Happy Holidays!

Eric Zabat, M.D. is a non-operative orthopaedic physician who specializes in sports medicine. He sees patients in Premier’s Collegeville, Exton and Malvern locations. Call 610-644-690 for an appointment.