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Holiday Accidents and Injuries By the Numbers

It’s often small decisions – a candle left burning, a dry Christmas tree or child left alone even for a moment – that could have life-changing consequences. When it comes to holiday dangers, the numbers are more startling than you might think:

  • Each year, fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of more than 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more, and cause more than $990 million in damage. [3]
  • Candle-related fires are one of the most common holiday home hazards, averaging more than 12,000 each year, resulting in 136 deaths, more than 1,000 injuries and $450 million in direct property damage. [4]
  • About 5,800 people – two to three every hour – were treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries sustained while decorating during the holiday seasons. [5]
  • Christmas trees, both natural and artificial, were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 240 reported home structure fires per year. These fires caused an estimated average of 13 civilian deaths, 27 civilian injuries and $16.7 million in direct property damage per year. [4]

By taking simple steps, we have an opportunity to help change these statistics together. Committing a minute to safety can be as quick and easy as testing your smoke alarm, taking pillows out of the crib or simply using a cabinet lock. Imagine if every mom committed just one minute to safety every day? Thousands, perhaps millions, of injuries could be avoided. Moms today have a powerful opportunity to raise a safer generation of children, and it can all start by committing just one minute to safety.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention. Atlanta (GA): CDC, NCIPC; 2012.

[2] IBID

[3] USFA December and Holiday Fires (2006)

[5] NFPA (November 2011)

[5] NFPA Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires (2011)

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