Preventing Injuries and Accidents at Christmas (part 1)


Christmas should be a time of enjoyment and celebration; however, the combination of stress, tiredness and alcohol can lead to a less than happy time.

More than 80,000 people a year require hospital treatment for injuries such as falls, cuts and burns at Christmas time.

“We want to help people prevent their festivities being cut short by a trip to A&E," says Sheila Merrill, home safety manager at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

“Our message is that the home should be as safe as necessary, rather than as safe as possible. With a little more care and forward planning, most accidents could be avoided.”

In the kitchen

Hot fat, boiling water and sharp knives make the kitchen one of the most dangerous places to be during the holiday.

Top Tips:

  • Try to keep other people (especially children) out of the kitchen
  • Stay off the alcohol until you've finished cooking
  • 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. Falling down steps or stairs after drinking is a common accident.

Top Tips:

  • Keep the stairs well lit
  • Keep the stairs free from obstacles

Christmas Stress

Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year. The combination of drink, relatives, lack of sleep and the stress of Christmas shopping can be too much for some people.

Top Tips:

  • Try to find some time alone like a relaxing bath
  • Learn to say no to the demands of relatives
  • Don’t suppress your emotions, talk to someone you trust

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is always a worry at Christmas. It takes hours to cook a turkey properly and if you don't the result can be salmonella, which can be life-threatening for vulnerable people.

Top Tips:

  • Read and follow cooking instructions carefully
  • Plan ahead to make sure you don’t need to rush cooking
  • Make sure food is stored correctly and at the right temperature


Studies by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) reveal that, on average, we gain two kilograms (five pounds) in weight during the Christmas period.

Top Tips:

  • Enjoy what you eat and drink rather than eating to excess


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,” says Merrill. “Alcohol can make people relax so much that they don't think about everyday risks.”

Top Tips:

  • After a party, empty any alcohol out of glasses to prevent children from drinking the remains if they get up early to play with their toys. 
  • Never drink and drive. 

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