Don’t allow common holiday injuries to ruin your enjoyment of the season!

Our experts from the Elvis Presley Trauma Center and Firefighters Burn Center are offering “12 days of injury prevention” tips to keep you and your family safe.

Whether you’re decorating, planning a holiday meal, or going to and from gatherings, follow their easy advice to avoid injury.

The holidays can be full of excitement and fun, but they also contain their share of potential hazards. Our experts at the Elvis Presley Trauma Center and Firefighters Burn Center have some tips to help you avoid injuries as you celebrate.

“Injuries can occur all year round, but with all of the extra activity and excitement during the holidays, certain injuries may become more common at this time of the year,” said Geretta Hollins, Community Outreach/Injury Prevention Coordinator for Burn and Trauma Services.

“That’s why the team at Regional One Health’s Elvis Presley Trauma Center is sharing advice on how to prevent injuries during this joyful yet busy time of the year. As you prepare to decorate your home, bake sweet treats, and attend festive gatherings, here are the ‘12 days of injury prevention’ tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and injury-free.”

Water live Christmas trees daily and make sure the needles are fresh and green and not easily falling off the tree. If you use an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as fire resistant.

Place your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator or space heater. One in 4 tree fires starts because the tree is too close to a heat source.

Never leave burning candles or fireplaces unattended. Make sure to fully extinguish the flames before leaving your home or going to sleep at night.

Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

When decorating a Christmas tree, place small ornaments, breakable ornaments and ornaments with detachable parts up high out of the reach of kids. 

Check, clean and maintain wood-burning fireplaces and chimneys. A highly flammable substance called creosote can build up due to restricted air supply and unseasoned wood, putting you at risk of a fire.

Check the batteries in your smoke detectors. It is ideal to place smoke detectors inside and outside of each sleeping area and on every level of a home.

When decorating your tree, place breakable ornaments, small ornaments, and ornaments with detachable parts up high and out of the reach of children to avoid choking hazards.

If you’re buying toys for children under age 3, make sure they do not have small parts that could be a choking hazard.

Do not leave baking or cooking unattended. Stay nearby and check on the food often, and set a timer to remind yourself.

Practice attentive driving, especially in bad weather like rain, ice and snow. Wear your seatbelt and avoid distractions like cell phones.

Never drink and drive. If you’re attending holiday gatherings where you might consume alcohol, arrange for a sober driver or ride share to take you home.

Choose the right ladder for hanging and taking down lights. Have someone nearby to hold the ladder steady and assist in case the ladder leans in the wrong direction.

If you’re buying gifts for kids under age 3, make sure they don’t have small parts that could pose a choking hazard.

The Elvis Presley Trauma Center is the only Level-1 Trauma Center in a 150-mile radius of Memphis. A multispecialty team of experts is available 24/7 to treat the most critically injured patients from Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and parts of Missouri.

The Firefighters Burn Center is the only full-service burn center in 400 miles of Memphis that is verified by the American Burn Association. It provides comprehensive care including emergency and critical care, intensive care, specialized burn rehabilitation, and laser and plastic surgery.

Learn more about the lifesaving, life-changing care our trauma and burn center teams provide at and