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Ah! Christmas - chestnuts, chipolatas and cranberry. Or to look at it another way, chaos, candles and catastrophe.
It is an unwritten law of safety education that there is no event, season or fun filled activity that cannot be spoiled by the swift application of some sobering statistics. And Yule-tide is no exception. A quick glance at the figures below is enough to take the shine off your tinsel and arrest your singing Christmas lights in mid Jingle Bells mode.
Another way of presenting that, of course, is to point out that a very few common sense tweaks and changes to domestic arrangements will mean that festive fun need not be interrupted by less festive medical interventions.
As Noel nonsense sweeps through the home, no room is left unturned as the potential for risk accumulates like artificial snow on a windowsill.
The kitchen as always is the epicentre both for good cheer and lethal endangerment. The more cooking going on and the more cooks doing it, the more risk there is for small persons dodging about between your feet.
Out on the stairs there is the additional layer of Christmas clutter to add to the normal clutter. In the living room there is the Christmas tree, more dangerous than a troop of enraged elephants, trailing trip-wire cables and child-unfriendly glass decorations.
At Christmas we bring more hazards into the home than at any other time of the year. Mistletoe doesn’t just bring with it the hazard of being caught in the vicinity by your least favourite person, it is also just plainly poisonous.
And, of course it’s impossible to talk about Christmas without mentioning alcohol. As well as the obvious risks of having a household of uninhibited adults with their perception of risk on temporary hold, there is the horrifying number of poisonings which occur when toddlers spring out of bed on the morning after the night before and clean up all the leftover alcohol the adults have left lying around at convenient coffee table height.
Where can Bitrex help out with this? Well we can’t easily put Bitrex in all alcoholic drinks left lying around. But in a house-full of people and with people concentrating on having fun rather than what children are up to, the last line of defence is the important.
If there are going to be lots of children round the house, it’s a good time to make sure that all dangerous substances are packed securely away. Don’t forget screen wash and de-icers which might be lurking in sheds and garages. These are just the sort of places that children, not to mention the odd frazzled adult, will drift off to escape the craziness.
With plenty of extra risks around it’s no time to forget the day-to-day hazards.
But let’s not forget it’s about fun, family and tearing into those presents. Did you know how many people are injured opening gifts with knives and not using scissors....?
Christmas UK figures calamities – adults and children
Hospital admissions during festive period 80,000
Decoration related injuries 1,000
Home fires 1,000
Tree related injuries 1,000
Fairy-light related injuries 350
Weight gain by average person during festive period 5lb