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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Ah, Christmas! If your house is anything like our house, the festive season seems to start earlier and earlier each year; not helped by the high street turning into a giant grotto from the end of October onwards!
Whilst the festive period for many people is a time for having fun with friends and family, the combination of over excited individuals and more people crammed under one roof means that accidents can easily happen. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, more than 6,000 people will end up in hospital on Christmas Day and over the Christmas period, more than 80,000 people will visit A&E.
Our blog this month highlights the common accidents that take place over the festive season, with advice, as always, on how to respond if you find yourself in a situation where first aid is required.
Oh Christmas Tree!
Did you know that Christmas trees alone are responsible for more than 1,000 injuries alone each year? From pine needle injuries to broken glass ornaments and dodgy lights; there’s even a chance you might be allergic to your Christmas tree….yes, Christmas Tree Syndrome is a recognised medical condition!
How do I know?
Itchy nose, watery eyes, persistent cough and shortness of breath? These are all signs that you might be allergic to the beautiful tree you just battled to get home from the garden centre!
How does it happen?
Mould often grows on Christmas trees and these spores are released into the air and into your home, meaning that if you are allergic to mould spores then you can become seriously ill by unknowingly breathing them in!
What can I do?
Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean a mad dash back to the garden centre just yet! It’s a good idea to give your tree a hose down with water before you bring it into the house. Make sure that you leave it to dry sufficiently and avoid touching the tree if you can. An air purifier can also be helpful for keeping spores in check. If after you have done that you still find yourself suffering from the above symptoms, sadly it might be time to invest in an artificial one.
Deck the Halls
There are no limits where Christmas decorations are concerned! Whether you are hanging garlands over fireplaces or icicles over porch ways and garages, it’s important to take care; especially when ladders are involved! Here’s our top list of dos and don’ts whilst decorating your home:
- Check fairy lights and cables before switching them on
- Make sure you only use lights outdoors that are suitable for external use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully!
- Turn all lights off before you leave the house or go to bed
- Use a step-ladder for hanging decorations that are out of reach.
- Always ask for help when taking heavy, large boxes out of the loft
- Water the Christmas tree without unplugging the lights first
- Overload electrical sockets
- Hang cards or decorations over an open fire or heater
- Leave candles or tea lights unattended. Battery powered tea lights are a safer option when using on fireplaces and surfaces where there are other decorations.
- Be tempted to use a chair or stool to stand on to reach the top of the Christmas tree.
If someone does experience an electric shock:
- Switch off the electrical current at the mains to break the contact between the person and the electrical supply.
- Do not go near or touch the person until you’re sure the electrical supply has been switched off.
- Dial 999 for an ambulance if the person isn’t breathing and begin CPR
The Feast of Stephen
Whether you sit down at lunch time or in the evening, the Christmas feast can create stress in the kitchen in many a household! Juggling pots and pans, people and all that extra food can often lead to minor accidents such as cut fingers and burns from hot turkey fat! Food poisoning incidents also increase over the festive season from undercooked turkey or prawns that haven’t been defrosted for long enough. Always follow the cooking instructions carefully and make sure to leave enough time to defrost meat, fish or shellfish fully and according the the instructions.
First Aid for Cuts
Stop the bleeding
- Apply pressure to the affected area using a clean and dry absorbent material i.e. a towel or bandage
- If the cut is to your hand or arm, raise it above your head to help reduce the flow of blood
- If the injury is to a lower limb, lie down and raise the affected area above your heart.
Clean the wound and apply a dressing
When the wound has stopped bleeding, clean it by and cover it with a dressing. This helps to reduce the risk of infection.
- Wash and dry your hands
- Clean the wound under drinking-quality running tap water. Avoid using antiseptic as it may damage the skin and slow down the healing process.
- Pat the area dry with a clean cloth
- Apply a sterile, adhesive dressing such as a plaster
- Keep the dressing clean by changing it as often as necessary. Do not let the wound become exposed to water.
- Remove the dressing after a few days, once the wound has healed itself.
First Aid for Burns
- Cool the burn – place under running water immediately and hold for at least 10 minutes. This helps to reduce pain, swelling and the risk of scarring.
- Cover the burn – cling film or clean plastic bags are ideal as they help to keep the area clean and prevent infection. They also reduce pain by keeping air from the skin’s surface!
- Assess the seriousness of the burn – if the burn is deep, larger than the size of a hand, on the face, hands or feet or if a baby or child has been burnt…seek urgent medical advice!
From all the team here at Trainingly, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2020