Advent Advice to keep you safe and happy this Christmas

Friday, 23 December, 2016

More than 80,000 people a year need hospital treatment for injuries such as falls, cuts and burns during the festive period.

A cocktail of excitement, stress, tiredness and alcohol can create unexpected hazards in the home at Christmas.

During Christmas, your home is likely to be full of people and, in the excitement, accidents can easily happen.

We want to help people prevent their festivities being cut short by a trip to our Emergency Department. We believe that with a little more care and forward planning, most accidents can be avoided.

Lead Emergency Department Consultant, Leilah Dare, said: “We want everyone to have a lovely Christmas and to enjoy spending time with their family and friends.

“Here in the Emergency Department we know that sometimes people end up in our care for reasons that are avoidable and we would like you to do all you can to have a safe and healthy Christmas by following some of our tips.

“Stock up on over-the-counter pain relief and remedies as well as any medication you usually take, ahead of the Christmas bank holidays.

“Take care when driving, be careful when you are cooking Christmas dinner and take precautions when putting presents together.

“If you do need our help over Christmas we will be here to take care of you, but please also consider whether there might be a service that could better help with your healthcare needs.”

Read our top tips on staying safe and happy this Christmas:

Kitchen

Hot fat, boiling water and sharp knives make the kitchen one of the most dangerous places during the holiday. Try to keep other people (especially children) out of the kitchen. Avoid alcohol until you've finished cooking, and wipe up spills as soon as they happen, so that people don't slip.

Stairs

Clutter, alcohol and tiredness make the stairs an accident hotspot during Christmas. It's common to fall down steps or stairs after drinking. Keep the stairs well-lit and free from obstacles.

Presents

Typical Christmas Day accidents include parents accidentally stabbing themselves with scissors, which they've used to assemble toys, instead of using a screwdriver. People often cut themselves with knives when they're opening presents too quickly. People also trip over toys and electric cables while rushing to try their new computers and other appliances.

Candles

People are 50% more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas than at any other time of year. Taking care with candles and oil burners is one way to help you and your family and friends avoid a Christmas house fire.

Never put candles on or near a Christmas tree and never leave an open flame unattended. Always place tea lights inside an appropriate container.

Stress

Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. The combination of drink, relatives, lack of sleep and the stress of Christmas shopping can be too much for some people.

Try to find some time alone, even if it’s only to have a relaxing bath. Learn to say no to the demands of relatives. Fresh air and a walk can do the world of good.

Turkey

Indigestion and food poisoning

Food poisoning is always a worry at Christmas. Read the instructions on the turkey well. It takes hours to cook a turkey properly. If you don't, you could contract salmonella poisoning, which can be life-threatening for vulnerable people.

Alcohol

Apart from the risks to your own health, alcohol can be the chief mischief maker when it comes to accidents. Alcohol can make people relax so much that they don't think about everyday risks. Never drink and drive.