Common Holiday Injuries and Statistics

Posted on by datateam

The holiday season is a time of joy, warmth, and festivities for many families. People travel across long distances to gather and share quality family time, gift-swapping, delicious holiday meals, and participate in centuries-old holiday traditions. However, the holiday season doesn’t end happily for everyone.

Many injuries, accidents, and even deaths occur during the holidays – some for holiday-related reasons. Fires can start from kitchens, faulty wiring, and decorative lights. Chilly weather, snow, and ice are responsible for many slips and falls. People fall from ladders, injure themselves while holiday shopping, and even get frostbite.


According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 30% of all house fires and 38% of all house fire deaths occur in December, January, and February. A variety of sources cause holiday fires, but the most common are cooking accidents, heating sources, and open flames.

Christmas trees and holiday decorations cause severe fires as well, resulting in twice the burn injuries and five times the amount of deaths as other house fires during the winter season. Other statistics involving fires include:

  • 47% of house fires and 54% of house fire deaths occur between November and March
  • Cooking-related house fires peak on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas
  • An object being too close to a heating source causes one in five fire-related deaths
  • Space heaters cause 32% of home heating fires and 82% of home heating fire deaths
  • Electrical failures or malfunctions cause 50,900 of U.S. fires annually


In addition to being fire hazards, holiday decorations cause serious injuries for many families. Whether an accident happens while decorating the home for Christmas or faulty wiring causes an electrical fire, these decorations can pose a risk to the health and safety of many families.

  • During the 2016-2017 holiday season, 11,700 people visited a doctor for injuries after falling off a ladder, likely while putting up decorations
  • In 2004 to 2008, holiday decorations started 1,170 house fires
  • Christmas trees cause 260 house fires every year
  • Holiday decorations cause 150 house fires every year
  • Candle fires peak on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

Ice and Snow

Ice and snow accidents are not always directly related to holiday activities, but the freezing weather still causes thousands of injuries every winter. People slip and fall on ice, the roads become too dangerous to drive without snow chains, and winter sports cause serious injuries to athletes and novices alike.

  • During the 2016-2017 holiday season, 29,700 patients visited a doctor for injuries sustained from a fall caused by ice and snow
  • 9,700 patients during the 2016-2017 holiday season visited a doctor for superficial frostbite treatment
  • 8,900 patients during the 2016-2017 holidays sought treatment for sledding injuries

Other Common Holiday Injuries

Aside from fires, decoration-related incidents, and snow and ice accidents, many other holiday-related injuries fall upon people during the holiday season. During the 2016-2017 winter festivities:

  • 1,600 patients sought treatment for cooking and baking-related injuries
  • 200 people visited a doctor for injuries sustained during an altercation with their in-laws
  • 2,400 people needed medical attention for injuries sustained at a shopping mall
  • 200 patients went to a doctor after falling from a tree
  • 200 patients were injured at an airport and sought treatment

If any of the above injuries happen to you this holiday season, seek out the proper medical treatment, and then contact a local injury lawyer.