Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

What the? Almost 1 in 5 people report injuries due to “gift wrap rage” December 16, 2009

Over the years, we’ve all been warned of dangers lurking in holiday celebrations. For instance, poinsettias have long been accused of being poisonous. Snopes.com has confirmed they are actually rather innocuous. Certainly, glass ornaments can pose a potential threat to little ones, but the worst culprit for holiday hopsital visits lies within the the all-consuming rage experienced by would-be gift-recipients in the process of opening a wrapped present.

Yes, you read that right. The act of unwrapping gifts can send people into a rage resulting in personal injury.

According to a poll of Pennsylvania adults, about 17% of Pennsylvanians experienced an injury or knows someone who was injured (such as receiving a cut that required medical attention) while opening gifts during past seasons.

According to the American Dialect Society, wrap rage is defined as anger brought on by the frustration of trying to open a factory-sealed purchase. The organization recognized the term in 2007 as one of the “most useful.”

A March 2006 story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  quoted Todd Marks, a senior editor at Consumer Reports, as saying, “Today’s packages force consumers to fight tooth and nail to get at what’s inside.”

The same article also claims that 2001 Census Bureau data shows people suffer twice the injuries from packaging than injuries from skateboards or swimming pools.

I guess this proves it truly is better to give than to receive.

As we enter the holiday season, avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency room by following these tips:

  1. If you must use a knife or another type of sharp object, cut away from your body.
  2. If you must use scissors, use ones with blunt tips.
  3. Wear protective gloves.
  4. Avoid opening tough-to-open packages in a crowded area.
  5. Don’t use your legs to keep the product stable.

For our children’s good pleasure (and to free us from having to work through all the little twist-ties and clamshell packaging while our children practically vibrate with anticipation) we, er, Santa will be displaying much of our children’s gifts front and center in our children’s little play area. On Christmas morning, we will open the door to reveal ready-to-play-with toys… without the fear of injury, or the excess waste paper.

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