Christmas is the season for dashing about, cooking up a storm and having a drink or two (or three). But, warns the NHS, it’s also a time fraught with stress and worry – which can spill over and cause accidents.
Here are some common festive mishaps you should be aware of – and try to avoid…
1. Kitchen injuries
Christmas dinner is a big deal – but so is lacerating your fingers when carving the turkey or burning your forearms when rushing to get the roasties out of the oven.
Take it slowly, don’t let children in the kitchen and stay alert (ie go easy on the chef’s obligatory tipple!).
2. Falling down the stairs
In a hurry to open your presents? Don’t go head over heels in your mad dash to unwrap them, and then don’t pile them on the stairs after you’ve done so. They’ll just trip someone else up – and a broken neck is not a great present, ever.
3. Wearing high heels at a party
Paul Kennedy, senior physiotherapist at Nuffield Health, says: “If you’re not used to them, try to spend as little time in high heels as possible, as this causes your pelvis to tilt and place unnecessary strain on the lower back. Limit wearing them to a couple of hours at a time and always wear flats to and from a party or event.”
4. Hanging decorations
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) 1,000 of us a year hurt ourselves while hanging decorations. So beware the baubles!
5. Putting your back out
Kennedy says: “When carrying large bags of shopping or presents, spread the load to prevent injuring your back. Carry bags in each hand, make multiple trips to the car – or get your food shop delivered to your door.”
6. Electric shocks
If you manage to successfully hang your fairy lights without coming a cropper on a ladder, don’t go getting electrocuted. Test your lights for faults before hanging them, just to be on the safe side.
7. Cutting yourself while wrapping presents
Ah, scissors: that old menace. They’re sharp, remember?! And Kennedy advises: “When wrapping presents, sit at the table with your paper, tape and scissors close by to prevent twisting the spine.”
8. Hurting yourself on sharp objects
Scissors do not make good substitutes for screwdrivers, and screwdrivers are not toys. Try buying gifts that don’t involve batteries or parts that need screwing together – it’ll be far easier.
9. Falling over in icy conditions
Kennedy says: “Make sure you take extra care and wear sensible shoes if you’re rushing about. Especially during icy and snowy conditions, or after you’ve had a mulled wine, when you’re more likely to slip or injure yourself.”
10. Take it easy on the booze
Buck’s Fizz in the morning, wine all day, Bailey’s in the evening… It all adds up, leaving you less aware of your surroundings and more prone to trips, slips and uncomfortable outbursts. Moderation should be your keyword for the big day.
11. Keep an eye on candles
It’s a fact that people are 50% more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas than at any other time of year. Keep candles away from curtains, Christmas trees and decorations – and always make sure to blow them out properly when you’re done using them.
Have you ever had an accident that was Christmas-related? Share your experiences in the Comments below.