Love hurts: Valentine’s Day gifts cause hundreds of ER visits each year

Love hurts: Valentine’s Day gifts cause hundreds of ER visits each year
Valentine's Day may be a day for love, but it also a day for trips to the emergency room. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Washington, D.C. — For one 27-year-old woman, Valentine’s Day got a little too hot two years ago, after candle wax spilled on her, and lit her hair on fire.

On Valentine’s Day, millions are expected to celebrate with romantic date nights. But if candles, chocolate, or even flowers are on your list of ways to wow your significant other, know that those gestures come with a warning.

Cox Media Group’s Washington News Bureau analyzed government data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission showing product-related injuries that resulted in emergency room visits. For Valentine’s Day, we searched key words focused around celebrating the notorious day of love, and found chocolate, flowers and candles resulted in more than 300 injuries in 2018 (the most recent available data).

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Candles were, by far, the most likely of the gifts to cause injury. Most injuries were caused by hot wax spilling onto extremities like hands and feet.

The most common injury for chocolate eaters occurred when they tried to break apart chocolate bars with a knife. Some lost fingers this way. But a 28-year-old female ended up spilling melted chocolate on her foot, causing second and third degree burns to her toes.

Cutting flowers, and flower-filled vases slipping out of people’s hands also caused dozens of ER visits.

We also looked at injuries specifically on Valentine’s Day, and the day after. Some poor lovers cut their hands on wine bottles. And several couples found themselves in the ER after slipping near the bath tub.