Christmas is a time of celebration and cheer. It is also a time for caution and calm as seasonal accidents happen every year .Today our final article of the year we want to put the spotlight on accidents that bring less fun and more fright and fear to Christmas . Injuries rise. Wait times at A&E increase. Emergency staff and First Responders always call for vigilance as the Christmas holidays can create a range of hazards specific to Christmas .Some more common incidents are:
The humble Christmas tree is not without blame. With artificial trees so common warnings include: making sure the tree is fire resistant; don’t hang ornaments too low to the ground for very young children to play with or eat them! Be mindful of ornaments with sharp edges and so small they can be a choking hazard . It is reported in the UK over 500 people are admitted into A&E each year for injuries caused by Christmas lights. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 30 people have died since 1996 due to watering their trees while the fairy lights were plugged in.
On December 19, 2016 The Irish Times reported that in a Canadian study, published in the journal Injury in 2016 showed, that, ‘’researchers reviewed patients admitted to a trauma centre between 2002 and 2012, “with severe injuries caused during Christmas-light installation.” Forty patients were severely injured – neurological (68 per cent), thoracic (68 per cent), spinal (43 per cent), extremity (40 per cent) – with 65 per cent falling from ladders and 30 per cent from rooftops. There was a mortality of 5 per cent. The royal society for the prevention of accidents in the UK warns 26 people died in the UK from watering trees with Christmas lights still on in the past 13 years So plug out the lights, switch them off at a minimum and be careful.
Christmas is a time of fun and gift giving but remember if you are giving a gift with wheels give a helmet too! Skateboards, hoverboards, bikes, trikes, scooters, and rollerblades are all the order of the day but they can be the most hazardous. In a house with age ranges of tiny to titan pay extra attention to the tiny pieces and sharp edges of gifts and board games tiny children are attracted to reach for and eat and play with . Be mindful that the age appropriate warnings on boxes are there as a cautionary reminder of the hazard the toy can have in the wrong hands. Trampolines can triumph as a gift but beware a bounce or two can cause a bruise or a break too!
As celebrations begin over the festive season the range of accidents and festive mishaps can put a dampener on the days between Christmas and the New Year.
Kitchen Injuries; Christmas Dinner is a big celebration in most houses so be careful . Burns and scalding and knife injuries are the most commonly reported accidents. Rushing with the roasties, chopping with the carving knife , boiling , braising and basting are all cited as mishaps for cuts, grazes burns and scalds. With presents and toys lying around trips, slips and falls happen causing sprains and strains. It seems silly to state the obvious but Christmas is not called the silly season for no reason.
Nativity Nightmares; Christmas may be a beautiful time for family but pay particular attention to leaving lights on around the nativity ornaments, candles account for more house fires over the Christmas season than any other time of the year. Keep candles away from small children , curtains and decorations. Do not leave fairy light or candles on over night even by accident!
Staircase calamities; In a hurry to open the gifts , racing to the table or just excited to join the party, trips and slips both up and down a stairs are commonly treated at A&E . Visitors can be unfamiliar with your house so a wrong turn in the night can be the cause of a fall , leave a light on. The Royal Society for the Prevention of accidents say clutter ,alcohol and tiredness are common reasons cited for accidents on the stairway , so be vigilant and aid visibility in any way you can to avoid accidents on the stairway .
Born at Christmas
Studies show more babies are conceived at Christmas than at other times of the year. Maybe it’s the mistletoe, maybe it’s the cold weather but better news however is for those born in December and during the festive season Good Housekeeping magazine reported that a study published in the Journal of Aging Research reports that people born in December are more likely to live to 105 — or even longer. Their birthdays may be late in the year, but they have a lot of them!
Happy Christmas from us all at Cahir and Co . Solicitors. If you have a Christmas emergency & need a solicitor contact me [email protected]