All The Ways the Holidays Can Send You to the ER, According to New Studies

published Dec 22, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: mooremedia)

My mom ends every phone conversation with me “drive carefully.” I could be sitting on the sofa in my living room (frankly in most cases I am) and those will still be her parting words to me. On New Year’s Eve – and most other holidays—that salutation gets even more emphatic given all the alcohol flowing this time of year and the heightened potential to encounter drunk drivers on the road. In fact, a new analysis from tells us that New Year’s actually produces the most drug-and-alcohol-related emergency room visits of any holiday.

Overall, family-oriented and more culturally-specific holidays account for fewer emergency room trips than secular holidays. On Christmas, 10% of emergency room visits are drug-and-alcohol-related, while New Year’s Eve is top of the list with 17% of visits being attributed to drugs and alcohol. On St. Patrick’s Day only 6.6% of emergency room visits are drug-and-alcohol-related in comparison to the Fourth of July which ranks second on the list at just over 15%.

(Image credit:

Accidents on the road aren’t the only hazards this holiday season. From latke burns, to decorating mishaps, and paper cuts from evil wrapping paper, is revealing just how likely you are to find the holidays hazardous as opposed to happy.

Their analysis looks at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) regarding holiday-related emergency room visits and injuries sustained by household items. Tasked with cooking? Be sure to don those oven mitts—broilers are the main source of kitchen-related ER visits during the holiday season. And when it comes to ripping open your presents this year, skip the gift opener and just use your hands—you’re less likely to incur a paper cut than do serious damage with a sharp object like a gift opener, according to the study.

(Image credit:

There have been almost 845,000 holiday-related injuries during the week of Christmas since 2006, reports the study. What’s the number one culprit? Stairs. And the most commonly injured part of the body? The head. Eggnog and negotiating icy stairs just don’t mix well. For younger holiday-goers, ages 5-24, basketballs are actually the number one source of injury. Christmas: teaching kids the hard way that wearing Lebron James sneakers and being Lebron James are two very different things.

(Image credit:

Stay safe and happy holidays!