You might be familiar with the 12 days of Christmas, but the 12 injuries of Christmas are what you should be looking out for.
Nobody wants to spend their festive season in pain or with the added cost of medical bills, but by being prepared you can avoid some of these common Christmas-time injuries.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Depending on your job, the festive season can be the busiest time of your year. Hospitality and retail workers are run off their feet helping people shop and celebrate, while tradies are working around the clock to ensure renovations and repairs are completed before the holidays begin.
If your role involves heavy lifting or repetitive movements, you should be careful of sustaining an injury such as a repetitive strain injury (RSI). To avoid these types of injuries, ensure you have been fully trained by your employer about the safest and most correct way to lift items and take necessary breaks or change motions to prevent strain.
More cars on the road can, unfortunately, lead to a higher number of accidents, particularly when people are stressfully completing last-minute shopping or attempting to fit multiple events into one day.
Where possible, try to give yourself more time before heading out onto the road so you aren’t anxious about being late, or better yet, take public transport or catch a ride-sharing service so you don’t have to drive at all!
Electrical fires are extremely common around Christmas time as many people decorate their homes, both inside and out.
Old, worn-out lights or cheaper models are the biggest culprits, so if you plan on using lights on your Christmas tree or on the exterior of your home be sure to unplug them when you go to bed, use appropriate indoor/outdoor lights for each setting and move any flammable objects away from them. If the wires appear to be frayed or the bulbs have burnt out, it would be prudent to replace them rather than taking the risk and suffering from burns or smoke inhalation.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend some days off in a sunny location or if you work outdoors, remember to always wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen at all times, not just in the middle of the day.
Staying hydrated is also important and you should aim to drink at least 2 litres of water in a 24-hour period.
Shopping centres are one of the most common places where slip and fall accidents occur and with crowds of people racing to purchase last-minute gifts and food in preparation for the big day, hazards and spills can go unnoticed by centre management.
If you notice something that could potentially cause an injury, alert a worker or security guard so it can be rectified and save someone from having a miserable holiday period after experiencing a painful fall.
Dining out or eating food prepared by friends or family can mean coming into contact with ingredients you shouldn’t consume, and while home cooks may have the best intentions, sometimes allergies are not taken as seriously as they should be, or cross-contamination inadvertently occurs.
If you have a serious allergy, remember to keep an epi-pen handy when dining in an unfamiliar setting and ensure that a close friend or relative is aware of your condition in case of an emergency.
End-of-year festivities are synonymous with alcohol, but overindulging can sometimes have disastrous consequences.
To avoid the risk of injury, be sure to keep an eye on your intake, step up your water consumption and make sure you have a decent meal every time you plan on drinking more than usual.
Gift-giving can turn into a sour experience if the present is faulty, especially if it’s a faulty toy that could injure a child.
It is difficult to know in advance if a product is going to be faulty, but when children are involved you should be extra vigilant of small parts, accessories, or additional features that may contain chemicals, dyes, or other ingredients that could be harmful.
Also, keep an eye out for product recalls in case faults have been found by other consumers causing the company to recall the product. Finally, you should always buy from a reputable source to avoid replica goods or shoddy craftsmanship.
Cuts and burns
More time in the kitchen means more chances to be the victim of a cut or burn. Cuts can also be caused by broken glass or stubborn packaging of new Christmas gifts.
Be extra careful when handling knives, hot pots, and pans, or glassware, and keep a first aid kit on hand if you are hosting a gathering where injuries might occur.
Trips and falls
Trips and falls can occur while hanging decorations, side-stepping around small children or animals, or from slipping on spilled food or drink, and are a common end-of-year injury.
Be extra careful of hazards or unfamiliar surroundings when visiting the homes of friends and family and remember to never run around a pool area to avoid slipping.
Christmas isn’t complete without an adorned tree taking centre stage at home, but as beautiful as they are they can also be a hazard and a major cause of injury.
Accidents typically occur because of falling trees, people tripping over lights, decorations, stands or gifts, or electrical fires. To avoid a tree-related injury, try to position the tree in an area that has plenty of empty space around it in case it falls, or a fire starts.
Enjoying time outdoors while on vacation can be a great way to unwind, but there is nothing more stressful than suffering an injury or being with a loved one when they have an accident.
Keep your recreational time stress-free by always following safety guidelines while kayaking, boating, hiking, or partaking in other outdoor activities, and have a plan ready in case of an unfortunate turn of events.
If you have suffered an injury and need assistance, contact our experienced lawyers today on (07) 4052 0700.