Christmas is a time of year that we can all look forward to, anticipating those much-appreciated lie-ins, the opening of presents and getting together with family and friends for a long overdue catch up.
Among all the frivolity and festive fun however, it is important to stay vigilant to potential dangers, so everyone can enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas.
According to data from ROSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), more than 80,000 people will visit A&E for medical help over the Christmas period, so here are some festive first aid tips to minimise accidents and injury in your home this Christmas:
Beware of kitchen dangers - the kitchen is a hive of activity at Christmas but with an increased number of people in your kitchen and high volumes of food being prepared comes an increased risk of injury, particularly from burns, scalds and knife cuts.
- If someone is burnt you should hold the affected area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes. If you don’t have any sterile burns dressings, the wound can be wrapped in clingfilm once it has cooled for 20 minutes or so, before seeking medical advice.
- If someone is bleeding – firstly clean the wound under cold water or with an alcohol-free wipe, then raise the affected area and apply gentle pressure to minimise bleeding before applying a sterile plaster or dressing. If the bleeding won’t stop, call 999.
- Decorate with caution – putting up the tree might seem fairly harmless, but over 1000 people every year are hurt whilst decorating their homes for Christmas. Beware of fragile decorations such as glass baubles and keep them out of the reach of children and pets. Remember to take care when using lights as older sets may not comply with today’s safety standards and when putting the star on top of your tree, don’t risk balancing on a wobbly stool, always use a ladder.
Tread carefully – December can bring many treacherous weather conditions including snow, ice, freezing rain and fog. Pavements and driveways can become particularly hazardous in freezing conditions so if any of your festive visitors take a tumble remember RICE:
- R - Rest the injured area
- I – Apply an Ice pack or cold compress
- C - Provide Comfortable support
- E - Elevate the injured area
If the pain is severe or persists, please seek medical advice.
- Know your toxins – traditional Christmas plants such as mistletoe should be handled with care as they are poisonous. The berries contain toxins which can slow the heart rate and cause hallucinations. It makes sense to keep the mistletoe high up, out of the reach of children, but if you do suspect a child has eaten a berry encourage them to spit it out as soon as possible and remain still. Seek medical advice and if you notice changes in behaviour, vomiting or sleepiness, call for an ambulance immediately.
Being prepared and understanding the risks should ensure that you have a safer, healthier Christmas. Just remember to keep your first aid kit well stocked and if you’d like to know more about how to treat someone in an emergency, why not speak to us about first aid courses?
We offer emergency first aid and CPR courses, designed to help you cope in an emergency at work. Call our team today on 0118 901 6910 for more information.