First Aid Warehouse

Festive first aid advice for avoiding common Christmas mishaps

13th December 2019

The Christmas period brings the joy of getting together with family and friends at festive parties and gatherings. 

Just as the celebrations bring much in the way of fun and excitement, they also lead to an increase in accidents during what is typically a busy time of year for our emergency services.

A range of mishaps can take place in the home, which is why it’s so important to have a fully stocked first aid kit to hand. 

Balancing precariously on chairs and stepladders while putting up decorations can lead to a fall. There’s also likely to be stress and distractions when preparing the all-important Christmas meal, something which can contribute to burns and cuts when concentration lapses.

The National Accident Helpline reveals that nearly half (49%) of those preparing Christmas food suffer an accident; one in ten being a burn-related incident, 1 in 5 from a cut, and 1 in 50 from a fall while getting decorations down from the loft. 

Have a read of our festive first aid tips below to ensure you don’t end up having to put the magical celebrations on hold for a trip to A&E.

Minor cuts and grazes

Picture of dressings and bandages.
Sterile dressings and bandages are essential first aid items.

From a misjudgement while carving the turkey to getting carried away when cutting open presents that are wrapped a little too well, there are many ways in which you could suffer a nasty cut. 

Minor grazes to the skin, which may draw a small amount of blood, require cleansing before a plaster or bandage can be applied. Sterile medical wipes are perfect for cleaning a small wound and the skin around it. There are several types of plaster used in first aid, and for good reason, make sure you are stocked up on each. 

Sterile dressings and bandages are used for deeper cuts. However, be sure to seek medical help if the wound continues to bleed.

Burns

Cooking a Christmas dinner can be stressful, especially if you have a large party of hungry family and friends eagerly waiting. Due to this, and the occasion, it’s easy for your concentration to lapse with so much going on around you. 

All of this makes the risk of sustaining burns from hot surfaces that much higher should you take your eye off what you are doing. Burn gel and burn dressing cools and protects burn injuries in the first instance.

Heartburn and indigestion

While it’s the time of year to treat yourself by indulging in copious amounts of food and drink, it’s important to remember that gorging on unhealthy treats puts strain on your body. 

Those who require them must ensure they have an accurate blood pressure monitor to hand. The symptoms of heartburn and indigestion can be similar to those experienced during a heart attack. 

Should you suspect someone is suffering a heart attack and is complaining of a tight chest and shortness of breath, call 999 immediately.

Sprains and strains

A first aid bandage.
Bandages serve as dressings and slings for injured arms and shoulders.

The frenzied unwrapping and scattering of presents can present something of an assault course when it comes to getting around the home. 

Tripping on loose toys or even falling from a stool or step ladder while putting up the decorations may result in a painful twist, knock, or something altogether more serious.

It’s not always straightforward to tell if someone has sustained a broken or fractured bone or joint. Should you need to call for an ambulance, there are items in your first aid kit that can help while you wait. Triangular bandages commonly serve as large dressings and slings for injured arms and shoulders. 

Electric shocks

Fairy lights.
Fairy lights present a range of hazards.

It may seem like a harmless task, but arranging Christmas decorations presents a variety of risks. Faulty domestic electrics, such as old fairy lights, present the danger of electrocution. It’s more common than you might think. The National Accident Helpline states that 1 in 40 people have suffered an electric shock due to badly wired Christmas lights.

Be sure to check for breaks in wiring, damaged fittings, and broken bulbs when you unpack your lights. In the event of a shock, turn off the mains and call 999 immediately.

Safety on the road

A winter driving kit.
A winter driving kit provides peace of mind when on the road.

You must ensure you are equipped for festive period mishaps outside of the home. The biting frost of winter makes for some challenging driving conditions and the last thing you need while commuting during this busy time is to be caught in need of an essential motor item.

Remember that it is both dangerous and illegal to drive while ‘portholing’, where only a small part of the windscreen has been cleared. Thankfully, a winter driving kit has everything you need to keep your car shipshape. Featuring screen wash, de-icer, a wind up torch and more, you can travel safely with peace of mind. 

At First Aid Warehouse you’ll find all the essentials and more for stocking up ahead of your Christmas and New Year celebrations. We can also offer discounts for bulk and repeat orders. Contact us for further details.