The Christmas period is typically a very busy time for people across Northern Ireland. Whether you’re out buying presents, visiting the Christmas markets, or popping over to see family, most of us are out enjoying what the season has to offer.
While it is a wonderful time of year, the holidays are often associated with an increased chance of injury. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident, around 80,000 people in the UK head to hospital during the holiday period each year. There’s a variety of reasons behind these injuries and we set out to explore the main ones in our latest blog.
Slips and Falls
With snow and ice everything, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that there’s an increase in slips and falls around Christmas. It’s far too easy to slip on an icy surface, leading to injuries like sprains, bruising, and even broken bones.
A lot of people lose their footing inside as well. In fact, nearly 1 in 50 people have fallen and injured themselves while decorating around the house.
Wearing appropriate footwear can provide you some advantages including much needed grip. Additionally, walking more slowly and carefully around slippery areas will help avoid an unnecessary accident.
Winter weather can also be a major contributor to car accidents. Ice, snow, and poor weather conditions are a recipe for disaster for drivers across Northern Ireland. Ice can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, while snowy and foggy conditions during the winter can abstract your view. These dangers can be amplified with the presence of black ice that is difficult to detect and can result in a serious accident.
It’s always best to take a few minutes to defrost your vehicle and brush snow off your car before you set off. Make sure to slow down, increase your following distance, and be extra cautious when braking. Lastly, you should leave up to 10x the normal recommended gap between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
Unfortunately lacerations are another quite common injury during the christmas period. Plenty of gift wrapping and decorating takes place during the holidays, resulting in some people using scissors and knives in an unsafe manner.
It’s best to be extra cautious around sharp objects. You should make sure to hold the tool securely and never hold the item you’re intending on cutting in your hands.
Many people light up their homes with candles and use their fireplace during Christmas. But unless it’s done safely, it can be very dangerous. Statistically, there’s an increase in house fires during the holiday season, so please take care around open flames. Don’t ever leave a flame unattended. Make sure to monitor it and put it out as soon as you are done using it. Additionally, it is worth having a fire extinguisher handy in case of an emergency. Everyone in your home knows how to use it.
Additionally, there’s an increase in burns in the kitchen. People are making complex dishes for friends and family, often juggling between the hob and the oven. In order to avoid unnecessary injury, it’s best to wear appropriate clothing and use kitchen equipment properly. You should also make sure to handle any food and beverages carefully.
While it’s true that the holiday period comes with some hidden dangers, they shouldn’t dissuade you from going out and enjoying Christmas. Go out and have an incredible time! Just make sure to do it safely.