Elf and safety: Stay safe this Christmas

Christmas Health and Safety
What dangers lurk over the festive season?

With Christmas almost upon us, it’s worth taking stock of elf and safety, as the festive season is also known as the accident season.

T’is snow joke either, as RoSPA reports (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) reveal that more than 80,000 people require hospital treatment each year for accidents during the Christmas period.  And you’re at your most vulnerable when you let your guard down to enjoy fun activities like opening presents and putting up decorations!

Just take stock of the following and it’s highly likely you’ll be in good elf come the New Year. Though we can’t be responsible for what you get up to on New Year’s Eve.

Boozy Chefs

Woman with hair rollers getting a burnt turkey out of the oven.
Image source: Andrey Armyagov
Too many glasses, spoil the broth!

Too many chefs spoil the broth and too many merry helpers preparing Christmas dinner in a small kitchen is a health hazard. Sharp knives, alcohol and hot things aren’t a good combo. Plan it well in advance, try and get people (especially children) out of the kitchen, don’t start boozing until it’s ready and clear up spillages as you go.

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

Christmas fireplace with garland and fairylights
Image source: Robyn Mackenzie
Have a cosy Christmas.

With temperatures set to drop, you’ll need to make sure your house stays warm over winter. So crank up the heating, light the fire and get cosy. We all know heating can be very expensive, so for those on a budget, use it selectively and stay snug over the festive season with throws, hot chocolate and your thermal trousers!

Tread carefully

Man walking in snow with Ice Treads
Image source: Eugene Sergeev
When in doubt, get the ice treads out.

The snow is falling, the children are singing and everybody is having fun … until some clumsy fool steps on ice, does a half somersault and ends up in the infirmary. Beware of those icy paths outside, get yourself a pair of ice treads with lots of grip and you’ll be walking on water (frozen water that is).

Open with care

Man in santa hat with presents.
Image source: Wavebreak Media Ltd
Take your time unwrapping.

Ho-ho-ho, OH! Uncle seems to have severed his artery opening Lego. It might sound extreme but people do get injured opening well-wrapped presents when they bring out knives and scissors to get through the wrapping. A bit of pressure, a slip and out comes the claret. Take your time and use a screwdriver if you’re struggling.

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

Senior couple decorating their Christmas Tree
Image source: Wavebreak Media Ltd
Get a stepladder out for the star.

The symbol of Christmas takes pride of place in many households, but that innocent looking Norwegian spruce isn’t quite as friendly as it appears. It’s a fire hazard, its needles are sharp and many people see stars when they fall from a great height whilst precariously trying to plant an angel on the top. Use a step ladder and ask somebody to help you.

Festive stress

Young woman stressed out at Christmas.
Image source: sebastiangauert
Aghhh! Christmas!

Is the turkey been in too long? How can you stop the children arguing? Why aren’t your family guests looking happy? Stress! It’s more common than snow in many countries and it’s really bad for you. So spread the load, plan well in advance and try, just try and have a time in the day where you put your feet up and enjoy it. And don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk if you’re feeling low.

Let there be light

Christmas Candles
Image source: Brebca
Light with caution.

Who can resist the magic of a candle? Those little fire zoos are just so romantic and merry and have the power to transform the ambience and energy in a room. They also have the power to bring the house down, literally, especially when there are so many highly flammable decorations hanging around. Be super careful where you put the candles and never leave a naked flame unattended. People are 50% more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas than at any other time of year.

Decoration hazards

Multi coloured Christmas fairy lights
Image source: STILLFX
Check health and safety standards.

RoSPA reports that around 350 people a year are hurt by Christmas decorations. Some of the injuries include electric shocks, burns and even cases of children swallowing fairy light bulbs. Make sure decorations are out of reach for children, check your lights meet health and safety standards and don’t overload sockets as it’s a fire hazard.

In the driving seat

Winter driving warnings
Image source: trendobjects
Don’t mix alcohol with driving.

It’s likely you’ll have few more over Christmas, and it goes without saying that alcohol can cause a few problems if you go a bit over the top. It reduces your awareness and relaxes you so much that you don’t spot about glaring risks. And best give those car keys to somebody as a couple of drinks mixed with ice will earn you a night in the slammer.

Sleigh safely

A broken Sleigh in the snow.
Image source: Trbilder
Sleigh with care!

Endorsed by Father Christmas, sleighing is fun, fast and a great way to hit trees. Choose your hill wisely and remember you have no brakes!

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