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This isn’t quite what we envisage when we think about the festivities, is it?  However, despite Andy Williams claiming that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it is also the most stressful and the most dangerous.  With the inevitable excitement and alcohol, it is really no wonder that we should be taking extra care over the Christmas period. 

Natalie DonaldEach year, more than 80,000 people attend various Accident & Emergency Departments across the country in relation to injuries such as falls, cuts and burns during the Christmas break.  On Christmas Day alone, there are around 6,000 hospital admissions.  It is suggested that 1,350 of these are related to Christmas trees and fairy lights.  Further, thirty-five people have died since 1996 by watering their trees whilst the fairy lights were still plugged in. 

Christmas trees and fairy lights are not the only horrors to grace our homes at this time.  The turkey is also a menace.   One in five people will risk food poisoning by eating their turkey.  You would think that this would be attributable to under-cooking but, in actual fact, this is as a result of eating your leftovers.  If you’ve had your bird for two days, it’s time to find a new one.  (Speaking of birds, it is also appropriate to remind you that mistletoe is poisonous.  Its berries contain toxic proteins that can slow down the heart rate and cause hallucinations.) I would also advise against scouting around for alternative Christmas bites when your bird is past it.  Over nineteen people have died within the last three years believing that their Christmas tree decorations were chocolate.  Hopefully you will heed my turkey warning but remember to lay off of the baubles too; or, if you happen to be one of those individuals who have not yet perfected the art of maintaining your faculty of perception after a few Proseccos, then please remove your baubles from your tree and place them in a safe area out of consumable-reach.

There are a plethora of other unfortunate festive mishaps, such as people dying after testing whether or not 9v batteries work on their tongue; parents stabbing themselves with scissors because they cannot be bothered fetching screwdrivers to open toys; tipsy party guests toppling down the stairs or crashing to the floor when they miss their seat at the dinner table.  My message is, that with a little forward planning, most accidents can be avoided, and you can carry on and have yourself a merry little Christmas, providing:

  • You plan your Christmas meal and keep all invaders out of the kitchen, particularly the little ones;
  • Keep the stairs well-lit and free from obstacles, especially if your gran is staying;
  • Don’t rush the presents and have a screwdriver ready;
  • Test your lights before wiring them up and do not overload sockets;
  • Glass decorations should be placed out of the reach of toddlers and pets ;
  • Never leave candles unattended; and
  • Do not eat the mistletoe for reasons already highlighted.

Have a great Christmas!

Blog by Natalie Donald

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