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Orthopedic injuries spike on Black Friday; here's how to shop safely

Christmas shopping cart

Unless you happen to be an emergency room doctor, you might not associate Black Friday with orthopedic injuries.

Broken bones and injured knees — Howard Chang, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, sees a spike in the injuries he and other doctors have seen people suffer while scrambling for a great deal.

“We tend to see a lot of these types of injuries,” says Dr. Chang.

“I once treated a man who fell and broke his collar bone on his way to get a good price on some toasters,” he says. “He didn’t come in until after he finished shopping.”

Dr. Chang offers some helpful tips, in case you choose to go shopping on Black Friday: 

  • Know your limit. There’s more to worry about than just your credit limit. Take your time and don’t over exert yourself in the rush.
  • Avoid heated situations. If you see a fight break out, leave the area immediately. “The savings aren't worth the risk of injury,” says Dr. Chang.
  • Prepare for the weather. If snow and ice are a factor, make sure you do your best to avoid slips and falls. For example, you should wear shoes with grips and walk carefully.