Doctors and nurses at Epsom and St Helier hospitals are urging people to be careful this festive season after seeing a high number of patients in the emergency departments last year, including 326 attendances on Christmas day alone.
For many of us, Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends, but sometimes unfortunate accidents can occur and a night of celebration can turn into a night of needing care at your local A&E. To help prevent celebrations being cut short, doctors at Epsom and St Helier have come up with some top tips for you to stay safe this Christmas.
Joint Medical Director Dr James Marsh said: “As always, our staff are on hand to care for people who need us and we have put extra steps in place to deal with the number of people who need hospital treatment this festive period, but I would like to strongly urge everyone to take precautions to try prevent any unnecessary visits to A&E.”
Our Christmas safety top tips are:
Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas and keep other people (especially children) who are not helping with cooking out of the kitchen as hot fat, boiling water and sharp knives can be dangerous. Wipe up any kitchen spills as soon as they happen, so that people don't slip. Try to avoid alcohol until you've finished cooking and never leave food cooking unattended
- Try to keep clutter to a minimum and make sure stairs are well-lit and free from obstacles as falls are quite a common accident around the holidays
- Place candles on steady, non-flammable surfaces and tea lights inside appropriate containers. Keep candles away from curtains and other flammable items and out of reach of children and pets. Never leave an open flame unattended
- Limit how much you alcohol you drink (drinking more than 14 units per week risks damaging your health), drink more slowly, drink with food and try to alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is well known for lowering inhibitions and whilst this helps some people simply feel more relaxed, it can also mean engaging in impulsive and risky behaviour which can result in injuries that could require immediate medical attention
- Make sure you get your prescriptions before the holidays and stock up on other medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, decongestants, antihistamines, heartburn and indigestion medicine, anti-diarrhoea medicine, antiseptic cream, wipes and plasters.
Dr Marsh added: “We hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas.