It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which sadly means that it is time for depression and domestic injury rates to go up. Believe it or not, Christmas is a veritable minefield of accident- and injury-causing objects and activities. But as everyone knows, forewarned is forearmed:
One of the first things that you are likely to get started on this Christmas is buying, assembling, and wrapping the presents. You might think that there is very little risk in walking to Woolworth’s, buying a PJ and Duncan cassette tape, and wrapping it up in the ‘Another Level’ wrapping paper that came free with your Smash Hits! magazine. And you’d be right. Well, sort of. The dangers of listening to 90’s boy-bands is something entirely different.
Injuries sustained from presents and present wrapping range from paper-cuts to stab-wounds, back-pain to inguinal hernias. Avoid injury by not lifting any presents that are too heavy, and using the proper tools for toy assembly. Kitchen scissors are a poor substitute for a Phillip’s head screwdriver.
There are a hundred different ways that your Christmas decorations could kill you, so be prepared:
- Check your Christmas lights before hanging them. You neither want to cause a house fire, nor be electrocuted.
- Use a ladder where appropriate – stretching, and balancing on the arms of your sofa to put the angel on top of your tree is a bad idea.
- Don’t eat the mistletoe. It is poisonous and can slow the heart rate, as well as cause hallucinations. Keep it well out of the way of children, as well as your Christmas cherry (which can cause stomach pain if ingested) and Christmas rose. It has been noted by the NHS that the diarrhoea caused by the Christmas rose is so extreme that it was considered a form of biological weapon by the ancient Greeks!
- Blow out your candles, or even better, buy the small, battery-powered tea lights. Particularly if they are going on your tree.
There’s something special about Christmas dinner, and every family has their own traditions and favourites. Whether you can’t eat turkey without Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, and gravy, or your vegetarian lunch is incomplete without a creamy, nutmeg-sprinkled cauliflower cheese, don’t let Christmas dinner be the cause of any pain or discomfort.
- Cook your turkey. Obvious maybe, but don’t underestimate how long it takes. Salmonella is nobody’s friend.
- Beware the triple-threat of hot fat, boiling water, and sharp knives.
- Go easy on the Snowballs. It’s hard enough to safely negotiate Christmas dinner, without having had a skinful, first. And remember, it’s never wise to try and perform tricks with your Christmas pudding en flambé.
- Keep an eye on children, or elderly relatives. Choking on turkey is a very real risk.
Have a fabulous, but safe Christmas. And if you find that you or a family member has been injured in an accident caused by faulty good or services, you can contact the Free Legal Advice Centre for assistance.