100+ Christmas Injury And Accident Statistics
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The holidays are not just a time for families to reconnect and sing carols by the fire. For many, the holidays are a time to watch a jump in Christmas tree fire statistics, decorating accidents, and shopping injuries. For others, Christmas depression statistics paint a bleak picture for mental health around the holidays. So what issues and injuries get worse around the holidays?
Christmas tree fire statistics indicate that fires from Christmas trees cause an average of 12 million dollars in property damage annually.
Christmas depression statistics indicate 64% of people with a pre-existing mental illness experience worsening symptoms because of exacerbated feelings of dissatisfaction, sadness, or financial strain, particularly in light of the joy to be social and joyful.
In 2019, 14,800 people went to the emergency room because of holiday decorating injuries.
Christmas shopping injury statistics
According to Shopify, Black Friday sales have reached record highs in 2022, both in person and online. Since 2006, there have been significant Christmas shopping injuries and deaths for in-person shopping, many of which take place on Black Friday where people do most of their Christmas shopping.
- 17: There have been 17 deaths because of Black Friday Christmas shopping since 2006.
- 125: There have been 125 injuries because of Black Friday Christmas shopping since 2006.
- 5: 5 people were shot in 2021 during Black Friday Christmas shopping at malls.
- 2: 2 people were shot in 2020 during Black Friday Christmas shopping at malls.
- 5: 5 people were shot in 2018 during Black Friday Christmas shopping at malls.
Source: Black Friday
The majority of the deaths and injuries have been the result of mall shootings and stabbings.
Injuries don’t just take place while shopping however, with many taking place with visits to see Santa.
Christmas Santa visit injuries
A study from Advances in Integrative Medicine revealed that 277 children are injured visiting Santa in malls and other stores. How are these rates so high?
- Children fall off Santa’s lap
- Children run away from Santa and cut themselves when they hit other things in their surroundings
- Adults trip while taking their children or grandchildren to see Santa
Christmas toy injuries
After opening presents on Christmas day, there is a heightened risk of injuries to children, particularly where small parts are concerned. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report in 2021, most fatalities for children under 14 were caused by choking and suffocating on small toy parts.
- 206,400: 206,400 toy related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in 2021.
- 74%: 74% of toy related injuries were sustained by children under the age of 14.
- 38%: 38% of toy related injuries were lacerations or contusions.
Christmas depression statistics
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, Christmas depression statistics rise from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. For many, this is because of loneliness, stress, and high expectations, particularly expectations to have fun and be around others.
These feelings of dissatisfaction and depression affect people with or without pre-existing mental health disorders. Those with preexisting mental health disorders often experience worsening symptoms while those without experience the “Holiday Blues” which can lead to mental health disorders.
- 64%: 64% of people with a pre-existing mental illness state that holidays make their symptoms worse.
- 24%: 24% of people with a diagnosed mental health condition state that holidays make their condition significantly worse.
- 68%: 68% of people with mental health concerns feel significant financial strain during the holidays.
- 66%: 66% of people experience extreme loneliness during the holidays.
- 63%: 63% of people with an existing mental health condition feel too much pressure to be positive and social.
- 57%: 57% of people experience unrealistic expectations during the holidays which exacerbate symptoms of mental health disorders.
- 55%: 55% of people find themselves remembering happier times they’ve experienced in the past and comparing it to their present circumstances which exacerbates mental health conditions and increases depression.
- 50%: 50% of people are unable to be with their loved ones during the Christmas holiday which exacerbates depression symptoms particularly loneliness.
- 38%: 38% of people state that holiday spending stresses their finances.
- 11%: 11% of people experience a great deal of stress because of the impact Christmas spending has on their finances.
Source: NAMI; Forbes
While it is a myth that suicide increases during the holidays, it is still a risk. Moreover, “Holiday Blues” are slightly different from existing mental health disorders but they should be taken seriously because they can lead to clinical depression or anxiety and they affect everyone, regardless of age or other demographics.
Christmas tree fire statistics
The National Fire Protection Association compiled Christmas tree fire statistics which show that fires from both live and synthetic trees pose a risk. Historically the rate of Christmas tree fires has dropped significantly over the last 20 years with 285 average in 2007 but only 130 fires averaged in 2017. However there were 180 Christmas fires in 2020 indicating the risk remains prevalent.
While Christmas tree fire statistics represent a small percentage of total home fires, 0.1%, they are nonetheless significant when you consider how short a time frame Christmas trees are actually in use each year.
- 160: U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 residential fires that started with a Christmas tree between 2016 and 2020.
- 2: Christmas tree fires cause an average of two deaths every year.
- 11: Christmas tree fires result in an average of 11 injuries every year.
- $12 million: Fires from Christmas trees cause an average of 12 million dollars in property damage annually.
Christmas tree fire statistics: which month is the most dangerous?
The table below breaks down the percentage of Christmas tree fire statistics from 2016 through 2020 based on each month of the year:
|Month of the year||Percentage of Christmas tree fires|
The longer natural trees are maintained in a house after the holiday, the more likely they are to dry out and catch fire. January fires are almost as common as December fires because of this reason.
Christmas tree fire statistics: when does time of day matter?
Christmas tree fire statistics change based on the time of day as well. The most common time frame is between 3:00 p.m. and midnight, representing 50% of fires that take place over the holiday season.
The table below represents the average percentages of fires from 2016 through 2020 based on the time of day.
|Time of day||Percentage of Christmas tree fires|
|3:00 a.m.- 6:00 a.m.||6%|
|6:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m.||6%|
|9:00 a.m.- Noon||13%|
|Noon- 3:00 p.m.||13%|
|3:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.||17%|
|6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.||16%|
|9:00 p.m.- midnight||17%|
Christmas tree fire statistics: where to put a tree
Where you put your tree in your home can influence the risk of igniting. Roughly 2/5 of every Christmas tree fire starts in a family room or living room and represents the majority of injuries and property damage. In much smaller cases buyers take place in the bedroom or kitchen.
- 73%: 73% of injuries related to home Christmas tree fires take place when a Christmas tree is set up in the living room.
- 10%: 10% of injuries related to home Christmas tree fires take place when a Christmas tree is set up in a functional area of the house.
- 1%: 1% of direct property damage happens when a Christmas tree is set up in a bedroom.
- 1%: 1% of direct property damage related to Christmas tree fires happens when a Christmas tree is set up in the kitchen.
- 17%: 17% of property damage happens when a Christmas tree is set up in a functional area of the house and catches fire.
- 55%: 55% of property damage results from Christmas tree fires where a Christmas tree was set up in a living room.
- 5%: 5% of fires happen when Christmas trees are set up in a bedroom.
- 5%: Another 5% of Christmas tree fires happen when Christmas trees are set up in a kitchen.
- 10%: 10% of property damage happens when home Christmas tree fires originate in a functional area of the house.
- 41%: 41% of property damage happens when home Christmas tree fires originate in a living room.
So what is the culprit behind these home Christmas tree fire statistics? The majority of home Christmas tree fires are because of lighting or electrical equipment, wiring issues, cords and plugs, or heaters, especially space heaters.
- 34%: 34% of home Christmas tree fires were the results of electrical failure or malfunction.
- 20%: 20% of home Christmas tree fires were because the tree had been placed too closely to a heat source like a fire or a space heater.
- 9%: 9% or because products or other decorations were misused and resulted in the tree being ignited.
- 6%: 6% of Christmas tree fires were because of discarded Christmas tree material that ignited.
- 44%: 44% of Home Christmas tree fires from 2016-2020 involved electrical equipment or lighting.
- 50%: Home Christmas tree fires from 2016-2020 involving electrical equipment represented 50% of all property damage
- 47%: Home Christmas tree fires from 2016-2020 electrical equipment represented 47% of all injuries.
- 13%: Home Christmas tree fires from 2016-2020 involving heat equipment accounted for 13% of all fires.
- 7%: Home Christmas tree fires from 2016-2020 involving heating equipment accounted for 7% of property damage.
Christmas driving statistics
During the Christmas holidays, Christmas drinking injuries and Christmas driving statistics increase. According to the NHTSA, The time frame between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the most dangerous time for motor vehicle accidents and crash fatalities. Nearly twice as many fatal car accidents take place between Christmas and New Year’s Day as compared to thanksgiving, Labor Day, or 4th of July.
- 25,000: Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there are 25,000 injuries from drunk driving accidents.
- 285: In 2018 there were 285 drunk driving related fatalities during Christmas.
- 16%: 16% of adults drink more during Christmas particularly during Christmas parties.
- 799: In 2019 there were 799 fatal car accidents between Christmas Eve and New Year’s day.
- 140: There were 140 fatal car accidents on Christmas day in 2019.
- 119: There is an average of 119 fatal car accidents on Christmas day compared to the average of 102 on a non-holiday.
- 1,087: There were $1,087 car accident fatalities between Christmas and New Year’s Day in 2018.
Source: NHTSA; Crash Stats
Christmas decorating accidents
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that decorations can lead to dangerous situations, particularly deadly fires. With live Christmas trees in houses there is a risk of it drying out, dropping needles, and becoming kindling. Moreover, broken holiday lights, pine decorations, wreaths, and burning candles, especially situated around a fireplace, are a cause for concern.
- 160: During the holidays 160 decorating related injuries happen on a daily basis.
- 14,800: In 2019, 14,800 people went to the emergency room because of holiday decorating injuries.
- 1,100: 1,100 candle fires took place during the holidays resulting in accidents, injuries, and property damage.
- 180: 180 people were injured between 2016 and 2018 in Christmas decoration accidents.
- 30: From 2016 through 2018 30 deaths took place because of decorating accidents.
- $56 million: 56 million dollars in property damage occurred because of candle fires from 2016 through 2018.
- 17,465: Between 2000 and 2003, 17,465 people went to the ER for falls because of Christmas decorations.
- 62%: 62% of those who experienced a fall while decorating for Christmas, between 2000 and 2003 were between 20 and 49 years old.
- 40%: Men are 40% more likely to experience a fall while decorating for Christmas than women.
- 3: No more than three incandescent lights should be strung together at a time.
Source: CPSC; CDC
Christmas decorations that cause the most Christmas decorating accidents
Christmas tree decorations are not the only cause of serious Christmas decorating accidents:
- 80,208: 80,208 injuries from 2007-2016 in the US were from nonelectrical decorations.
- 36,054: 36,054 injuries from 2007-2016 in the US were because of electrical decorations.
- 31,855: 31,855 injuries from 2007-2016 in the US were from tree lights.
- 17,928: Of all injuries from 2007-2016 in the US were because of artificial Christmas trees.
- 2,839: Of all injuries in the US from 2007-2016, 2,839 were related to Christmas tree stands.
- 2,305: 2,305 injuries from 2007-2016 in the US were the result of Christmas presents.
- 2,216: 2,216 injuries from 2007-2016 in the US were because of real Christmas trees.
- 277: 277 injuries from 2007-2016 in the US were Santa impersonators.
Source: Advances in Integrative Medicine
Taking a deeper look, the table below shows what decoration injuries were noted on emergency room visit data during setup versus takedown:
|Christmas decoration||Percentage of ER visits during setup||Percentage of ER visits during take down|
|Wreaths and garlands||88%||12%|
The data above indicates that no matter what decoration it is, it is always more dangerous to set it up than it is to take it down, but Christmas tree stands are still the most dangerous to take down and put away.
Most common Christmas decorating injuries
These Christmas decoration statistics indicate that setting up a Christmas tree and other decorations are the primary source of injuries, compared to taking them down. But what are these visits to the emergency department for?
The table below breaks down the most common Christmas decorating injuries and their respective percentage of all Christmas injury emergency room visits:
|Injury||Percentage of Christmas ER visits|
|Strains and sprains||16%|
|Internal organ injuries||6%|
Source: CPSC NEISS
And where on the body do these injuries take place? All over:
- 22,140: The majority of injuries, 22,140, from 2008-2017 were to the lower trunk, or hip region.
- 13,340: From 2008 through 2017, Christmas injury statistics indicate that 13,340 Christmas decoration injuries were to the head.
- 11,460: From 2008 through 2017, Christmas injury statistics indicate that 11,460 Christmas decorating injuries were to internal organs.
- 9,918: Between 2008 and 2017, 9,918 Christmas decorating injuries were to the upper trunk or core.
- 8,031: From 2008 through 2017, Christmas injury statistics indicate that 8,031 injuries were to the foot. The same number happened to the finger.
- 7,507: From 2008 through 2017, Christmas injury statistics indicate that 7,507 emergency room injuries were to the face.
- 6,849: 6,849 injuries sustained setting up Christmas decorations were to the shoulder between 2008 and 2017.
- 6,818: 6,818 injuries sustained from Christmas decorations between 2008 and 2017 were to the eyeball.
- 5,684: From 2008 through 2017, Christmas injury statistics indicate that 5,684 emergency room visits were for injuries to the hand.
Source: CPSC NEISS