Okay, so you’ve opened the presents, but you still have to survive the rest of Christmas Day.
Because, make no mistake, it’s a dangerous time of year. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) more than 80,000 UK citizens end up in A&E over the festive period – some 6,000 on Christmas Day alone.
It’s not just kitchen burns or cutting your finger while peeling the potatoes – or children falling off new bikes. A few specific Christmas horrors are that some 1,000 people are injured every year putting up Christmas decorations, over 300 are injured by Christmas tree lights – and several dozen UK citizens have died over the past 15 years by watering their Christmas tree while the Christmas lights were plugged in.
British hospitals report about four broken arms each year after cracker pulling accidents and some five Britons are injured every Christmas in accidents involving out-of-control Scalextric cars.
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More predictably, about eight Britons crack their skulls whilst throwing up into the loo and end up in hospital.
Many Christmas Day accidents happen because of stairs – usually because they’ve been piled with Christmas clutter. The other favorite Christmas hot-spot, most obviously, is the kitchen.
While in there, don’t feel tempted to put the Christmas pudding in the microwave. The combination of fruit, sugar and water can react violently, as a 49-year-old woman found to her cost when her pudding blew up, necessitating hospital treatment (to her, not the Christmas pudding).
“People must realize that they are dealing with a potential explosive when they put puddings in the microwave,” a RoSPA spokesman helpfully observed, after the event.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that that we can mitigate against all risk. Some, frankly, can’t be guarded against. Take Aeschylus, for example, the Greek playwright who died in 458 BC when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head. (The tortoise survived, incidentally).
Remember also that there may be 1,200 chainsaw accidents a year, but over 16,000 of us are injured by our sofas. Socks and tights account for over 10,000 injuries (mainly falling over while putting them on), and vegetables account for more than 13,000 injuries.
If you go out, don’t walk near birdbaths (311 injuries) or wear wellington boots (5,600). Don’t even think about putting on trousers (5,900), don’t be rude to the bread-bin (91) and be very wary of that tin of talcum powder (73).
If you can’t eat, relax in the living room, or wear clothes, don’t make the elementary mistake of thinking that the bathroom is a safe place. There are over 700 sponge and loofah accidents per year – and toilet roll holders, strangely, account for another 300 hospital visits.
All in all, it’s a dangerous time of year. However, from all of us at David Gray PR, do have a happy (and safe!) Christmas.