I’ve just been sifting through the papers online – after my lunchtime sarnie and mince pie -, and happened to come across an article featuring animals having fun before the festivities get started: cats peering out from between the branches of trees, a dog jumping up for baubles, which it then eats. Another dog being named and shamed with a sign around his neck professing: “I ate #christmas.” Then there’s the amusing story from a vet about dogs who eat tinsel and glittery Christmas cards…
All very jolly, but I’ve blogged before about all the work that Plastic Surgeon tackles in terms of the numerous accidents caused by our pets around the home; and according to our insurance company clients, this seems to increase dramatically at Christmas, Along with the rest of the collateral damage from parties, pranks and other excesses.
And of course people suffer too. According to the NHS Stay Well website, more than 80,000 individuals need hospital treatment for injuries such as falls, cuts and burns during the festive period. So while we at Plastic Surgeon can’t repair human beings, we can help you to keep out of harm’s way by sharing the NHS’s #christmas safety tips:
Hot fat, boiling water and sharp knives make the kitchen one of the most dangerous places during the holiday. Try to keep other people (especially children) out of the kitchen. Avoid alcohol until you’ve finished cooking, and wipe up spills as soon as they happen, so that people don’t slip.
Clutter, alcohol and tiredness make the stairs an accident hotspot during Christmas. It’s common to fall down steps or stairs after drinking. So keep your stairs well lit and free from obstacles.
Typical Christmas Day accidents include parents carelessly stabbing themselves with scissors, which they’ve used to assemble toys, instead of using a screwdriver. People also trip over toys and electric cables while rushing to try their new computers and other appliances. Clear away packaging and wrapping paper as you go along to avoid trips.
Always use a stepladder to put up the decorations and don’t over-reach. Don’t let young children play with glass baubles and take care extra care with decorations that might look like toys but may not be suitable for younger ones.
Around 350 people a year are hurt by Christmas tree lights. Injuries include people falling while they’re putting them up, children swallowing bulbs, getting electric shocks and burns from faulty lights. Test your lights and the wiring before you put them up, as they can deteriorate over the years.
Never put candles on or near a Christmas tree and never leave an open flame unattended. Always place tea lights inside an appropriate container.
Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. The combination of drink, relatives, and lack of sleep – all loaded on the logistical nightmare of Christmas shopping – can be too much for some people. The NHS advises you try to find some time alone, even if it’s only to have a relaxing bath. Learn to say no to the demands of relatives. It’s important not to suppress your emotions. Try to talk to someone you trust or a third party, such as the Samaritans.
Apart from the risks to your own health, alcohol can be the chief mischief-maker when it comes to accidents. It reduces your risk awareness because of its relaxing effect. After a party, empty any alcohol out of glasses. Children are likely to drink the remains if they get up early to play with their toys. Never drink and drive.
This advice could be classed as nannying or intrusive, but we can all get careless over the festive period and forget seemingly obvious precautions. And if when you take stock after everyone’s gone home and you find scratches or stiletto heel marks on your parquet flooring, wine rings on the coffee table or damage to your fireplace, then calling Plastic Surgeon is probably the quickest and most cost effective way to put things right. We even have a surprising amount of experience in dealing with fire and smoke damage. Such as when someone put a lighted candle in the soap holder of a shower pod and the smoldering heat crazed the entire GRP molding.
One thing’s for sure; I’m going to check my Christmas lights very carefully this year. Thank you to our Finishers and the NHS for reminding me.