Packing Holiday Decorations: Play It Safe

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2020

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Whether you wait until Kings’ Day on Jan. 6 or you do it New Year’s Day, taking down holiday decorations is no one’s favorite chore. Before you tackle taking down holiday decorations, check out these tips for staying safe and accident-free.


Lift Smart

For many people, packing up holiday decorations means putting boxes of ornaments and decorations into storage and hauling the massive tree out of the living room. It is important to use proper lifting techniques when taking down the tree or removing heavy decorations on the gutter or roof.

When lifting heavy objects, protect your body through good postures like these:

  • Keep a wide base of support
  • Bend at the hips and knees only, keeping your back straight, chest out and shoulders back
  • Slowly lift with your hips and knees without twisting or jerking
  • Set down your tree or boxes gently, bending at only the knees and hips


Practice Ladder Safety

When using a ladder to remove decorations from higher places outside such as in trees or on a roofline, keep balanced and injury free by taking a few easy precautions:

  • Inspect the ladder for damage, reading all labels and markings
  • Do not use the top rung of the ladder
  • Do not place the ladder on boxes, chairs or any items other than the floor
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes with clean soles to maximize traction
  • Face the ladder and have two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps at all times
  • Keep focused, climb slowly and avoid sudden movements

Keep your hands free while climbing by recruiting a family member to serve as an assistant. Pass the decorations down to them one at a time.


Watch for Cuts

Always wear gloves when packing up light bulbs or ornaments that are breakable. Both can cause either minor or deep cuts that could require stitches. It is also advisable to wear closed-toe shoes to avoid stepping on breakable objects.

Regardless of when you decide to pack up your holiday decorations, it’s important to put safety first. We see a lot of cuts, falls, burns and broken bones from decorating accidents this time of year.

Dr. Nikolic lived in New Orleans as a child, but attended high school at the American International School in Vienna, Austria. She attended college at the University of Vienna and attended University of Vienna Medical School. Her residency training was done at East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie. Dr. Nikolic is board certified in both Family Practice and Urgent Care.