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La Vie Care

While Christmas should be a time to celebrate and reconnect with family and loved ones, accidents still happen. Spending Christmas in the emergency room is no fun for anyone, but being aware of common festive season mishaps could help you avoid them!

Most common Christmas accidents

Road accidents

Traffic on the roads increases dramatically over the festive season as people visit friends and family or visit the mall to stock up on Christmas treats. The end of the year combined with the excitement of Christmas means drivers are often distracted or exhausted, and if you add alcohol to the mix, you end up with highly intoxicated drivers and pedestrians on the roads. Take extra care when driving over the Christmas season, and never drink and drive!

Allergies and food poisoning

Christmas celebrations usually include food and snacks, and many people find themselves trying new things or eating food prepared by someone else. Poorly prepared foods, or foods that have been standing outside too long, can spoil leading to food poisoning. Catered food also doesn’t come with labels listing ingredients, which poses an additional risk for those with severe food allergies. Eat food as soon as possible once it’s been served, avoid anything you don’t know, and, if you’re allergic, always carry your medication with you to avoid ending your evening in the hospital. 

Choking

Christmas is the time for gifts, crackers and trees. However, the small novelties in crackers, small Christmas decorations, and toys can become a serious choking hazard, especially for small children and curious pets. When buying gifts for little ones, make sure the toys are age-appropriate, and keep small decorations out of reach of toddlers and pets.

Electrocution

Nothing says Christmas like the colourful lights blinking away on the decorated tree. However, poorly maintained lights can lead to electric shocks and children can swallow or choke on the small light bulbs. Before adding lights to your Christmas tree, check the wiring and if any of the cables are frayed or the fittings are damaged, it’s time to invest in new lights. A crowded home also means more electronic devices, but avoid the temptation to overload electrical sockets. Rather take turns charging phones than risk electrocution!  

Falls and muscle sprains

The holiday season can be a busy time preparing for guests, setting up the tree, and getting the shopping done. Lifting and carrying heavy gifts, grocery bags, trees, or boxes of decorations can cause muscle sprains, so get some help instead of doing it all yourself.

Also, take care when decorating homes and trees as falling off ladders and chairs can cause serious injury. Excited children and pets running around an already crowded house also pose a risk, especially to older relatives, and guests unfamiliar with the home can find themselves tripping on stairs or loose carpets.

Burns

Open flames are always a hazard, so if you’re making a fire, be it in a fireplace or for a good South African braai, be safe and keep an eye on small children and intoxicated friends to avoid burns. Crowded kitchens with too many cooks, or a cook that uses more alcohol in their drink than their dish, can lead to accidents with hot oil and boiling water, so keep the kitchen free of children, pets, and tipsy assistant cooks.

Conclusion

A big culprit when it comes to Christmas accidents is alcohol, so it’s best to drink responsibly. Be aware of your surroundings, and remove possible hazards where you spot them, to ensure that you spend your festive season with your loved ones and not the emergency room staff!