While Christmas should be a time of happy celebration, research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have shown it is one of the most dangerous times of the year. More than 6,000 people will end up in hospital on Christmas Day and more than 80,000 will visit A&E over the Christmas period, involving falls from ladders while decorating houses with fairy lights and cuts from broken glass ornaments. Christmas trees alone account for more than 1,000 injuries each year.
Alcohol, overcrowding, tiredness and excited children can make your house an accident hotspot during the Christmas period. Try and keep the stairs free of clutter to avoid falls and keep everyone out of the kitchen aside from the cooks to avoid collisions and burns. Test tree lights and the wiring before putting them up, as they can deteriorate over the years. If you have old lights, buy new ones that meet higher safety standards, don’t risk overloading sockets, as this is a fire risk. Ensure your turkey is cooked right through and give everyone space to have a little time to themselves when they need it - this includes pets too! When opening presents, ensure you have a selection of screwdrivers and scissors safely to hand to ensure you are not tempted to improvise when opening packaging which invariably leads to accidents.
A little forward planning can ensure that it is a memorable time, for all the right reasons. Make sure you have a good quality first aid kit to hand and that you are equipped with the skills and knowledge to confidently help with a medical emergency.
Medication to stock up on prior to Christmas
Chemists and doctors will be closed over the festive period, so think ahead:
Friends and family often introduce new germs to the festive mix and being ill over Christmas can be miserable! Stock up on your trusted cold remedies.
Increasing Vitamin C intake can ward off a cold, as can Echinacea.
Over-eating can cause indigestion. (However, please do not confuse indigestion symptoms with that of a heart attack – Heart Attack)
Invest in Rennie, Gaviscon or peppermint oil – alternatively fresh peppermint tea can ease mild indigestion. Digestive Enzyme available from health food shops can be helpful, as can charcoal.
Probiotics and probiotic yoghurts can help your gut to recover from over indulgence and Milk Thistle (available from health food shops) may help your liver to recover from the excess.
Hangovers are primarily caused by dehydration and so the best way to feel better is to replace the lost fluid and electrolytes. Never drink on an empty stomach and drink plenty of water throughout the evening too. Lucozade Sport or Dioralyte is really effective at rapid rehydration. Berocca is great too and it can be helpful to have a glass prior to an evening out. Alkaseltza or Ibuprofen (take after food) will ease any headaches, Alkaseltza contains caffeine as well as pain killers and may help restore energy.
Please ensure you always read the labels carefully before taking any medications to ensure there are no contraindications.
Have a wonderful Christmas, stay safe and healthy and have a lovely relaxing time.
It is strongly advised that parents attend a practical first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.
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First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.