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Don’t let this be you
Don’t let this be you
SYDA PRODUCTIONS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Margaret Keresteci should have known better. Thanks to her previous job collecting injury data, she was well aware of the many mishaps that occur during the festive season. Nevertheless, one night she was so anxious to get her exterior Christmas lights up that she hauled out a ladder, climbed to the top rung and then leaned too far to one side. The next thing Keresteci knew, she was lying on the ground with two broken wrists and a gash on her head. Her husband and kids weren’t at home, so, in terrible pain, she made her way to a nearby house, where she summoned help by banging on the door with her elbow. Keresteci suffered permanent damage to one wrist as a result of her fall. Her story is a kind of perfect storm of holiday hazards: elaborate decorating, high stress, busy schedule. It’s no wonder there are typically more falls from ladders, more accidental fires, and more food-related illnesses just before and during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. The good news is that most of these incidents are preventable. Here is our guide to the season’s red flags – and how to avoid them.

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