Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Christmas decorating sends 15,000 Americans to the E.R. every year

Illustration for article titled Christmas decorating sends 15,000 Americans to the E.R. every year

Santa Claus, bless his magical heart, somehow makes it safely onto millions of icy roofs every Christmas. But us mortal humans are not so lucky. Every year, 15,000 Americans end up in the emergency room thanks to Christmas decorating accidents—a decidedly unhappy start to the holidays.


Over at the New Yorker, Ben Wellington of I Quant NY combed through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) for tales of holiday woe. The 15,000 injuries tend to pick up after Thanksgiving, which marks the traditional beginning of holiday (injury) season. There's another peak at New Year's, presumably when people attempt to take down their decorations.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which maintains the NEISS database, about one-third of the injuries are from falls while stringing up lights. Cuts, back strains, and burns make up the majority of the rest. There's a price to pay for being so merry.


Top image: Fotomicar/shutterstock

Factually is Gizmodo's new blog of fun facts, interesting photos, and weird trivia. Join us on Twitter and Facebook.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


I always feel bad for the neighbors of the people who put up those light shows that are synchronized to music. Fuck christmas decorations. Put up a wreath, throw some standalones in the yard, wrap some lights around tree trunks, bushes or railings (i.e. no ladder), and change a couple exterior lights to red or green tint. DONE.

Bonus: you can safely do this while shitfaced, generally.