Christmas should be a happy time spent with our family, opening presents and indulging in the occasional mince pie, but for some people it can be a time when unexpected injuries occur. It’s a fact that more than 80,000 people need hospital treatment for injuries during the festive period (statistic taken from NHS.co,uk)
Personal Injury expert Kerry Dervey tells us more about the potential accidents and hazards to watch out for during the festive season to help you have a safe and injury free Christmas.
“In the run up to Christmas, we rush around the house or out and about, doing jobs that we only find ourselves doing this time of year. It’s surprising how many situations there are where potential hazards exist, but we’re all too busy trying to get that last present or battling for the last Christmas pudding that we aren’t looking out for them. This is when accidents can happen.
In the run up to Christmas we often undertake tasks such as climbing up ladders to put up lights, which can lead to accidents and falls. Make sure that someone is on hand to help and that equipment is safe and suitable for the task ahead. Also take carry on chairs to put up or take down Christmas tree decorations and keep a close eye on what the kids are doing – they love to get involved and copy mum and dad, but make sure they are doing so in a safe way.
One of the common places for accidents to happen is in the supermarket and many of us will be doing a big shop ahead of Christmas Day to stock up on fresh vegetables and other necessities. Inevitably the stores will be much busier than usual and the shelves will be piled high with supplies. It’s at times like this when we’re rushing to get everything ticked off our list that accidents can happen.
In my experience, trips and slips are really common in supermarkets and are often caused by products which have been dropped and left on the floor unnoticed. Other potential slip hazards in the supermarket are things like bread trays left on the floor, which people accidentally step on! Shops and supermarkets should point out any hazards that they are aware of with clear signs, however, there may be things that haven’t been spotted and it’s these things that will cause accidents.
The other thing to consider is the weather conditions. In the last few weeks here in Yorkshire we’ve had a lot of frost and black ice and the conditions have been really hazardous. Accidents can easily happen when driving or walking round the shops to get that last minute Christmas shopping done or grab a bargain in the sales. Local councils owe a duty to keep pedestrians and motorists reasonably safe but it’s wise to take a good look at the weather forecast and prepare for every eventually. Stock up on de-icer, keep an extra blanket in the car and wear shoes that have a good grip on them to avoid slipping over.
Having said all this, if you or a member of your family are unfortunate and have an accident over the festive period, then help is at hand. Having an accident can be incredibly inconvenient, especially at this time of year, as well as painful and financially troubling so here are some top tips for staying safe this Christmas.
- Keep decorations and cards away from fires and make sure that you blow out candles
- It’s wise to buy new Christmas tree lights rather than using old ones which may have become faulty
- Always switch off decorative lights before going to bed
- Use scissors to open packaging rather than knives
- Allow yourself plenty of time and allocate space for cooking the Christmas dinner to avoid accidents with hot fat and boiling water
- Try and keep the house as tidy as possible because clutter can cause accidents and falls
We want you to have a safe, happy and healthy Christmas with your family and friends, but be reassured that we are here to help if you need us.”