The festive season is now upon us, and many of you will most likely be gearing up for the busiest schedule in the calendar year.
In this modern era of feverish festive consumption, it’s common for frenzied sessions of last-minute Christmas shopping to be punctuated with bouts of long-distance travelling to visit friends and family; whilst in between still trying to attend as many of the ubiquitous parties as possible (and not forgetting attempting to cope with the dreaded after-effects the following day).
However, the fact that this almost all-pervading state of Yuletide mania coincides with the annual downturn in the weather, each year there unfurls a plethora of fear-mongering doom-merchants in the media warning you about the “hidden dangers of Christmas”.
Granted, such a concoction of heady conditions may be some cause for concern, yet it seems obvious that safety (and its closely related sibling ‘common sense’) should not come at the expense of your own enjoyment.
At Christmas, one must be mindful of… not so much dangers per se (as we hereby intentionally avoid such incendiary terminology), but more so the instances of carelessness that can occur.
The NHS estimates that approximately 80,000 people require treatment each year for Christmas related injuries, and not all of them are simply the result of excessive alcohol consumption (of course, not everybody in Britain likes to indulge in that way). There are, in fact, multitudinous reasons for these injuries.
Which may go some way to explaining the rather bizarre accidents that some people experience, with an estimated 1000 people reportedly injured in some way by their own Christmas tree – such as it falling upon them or even suffering cuts from its razor sharp pine needles.
And more commonly than you may think, burns and electrical shocks happen when people decorate their home with fairy lights. In fact, there has been a boom of reported burns in recent years as more younger people, mainly girls, attend A&E after suffering injuries at the hands of their brand new hair straighteners.
Hazards around the home are manifold and may include people accidentally leaving candles burning, handling hot fat in the kitchen, and absent-mindedly carving the turkey at the dinner table. Yet surely the most bizarre of recorded UK Christmas injuries, and don’t read this if you’re eating, involves someone getting their eyelids stuck to zippers on new clothing.
Obviously this is not intended to make light of such minor injuries, and some very unfortunate and serious accidents do happen. It is not uncommon for news stories to pair images of overturned cars in front of desolate and snowy landscapes to warn us of the dangers driving erratically on ice, and naturally, drink driving should always be avoided.
Yet it should be emphasised that serious injuries can happen to anyone and at any time. So yes, be conscious of everything you do when you go for a walk or get behind the wheel in icy conditions, just as you should when the heavens throw down sheets of impenetrable rainfall; when the sun’s piercing glare dazzles and blinds you; or when the thickest blanket of pea soup fog blocks your way.
It’s a case of common sense. Just like at any time of year, one must always be vigilant to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe. But it’s Christmas, so the point is to enjoy yourself.
After all, there’ll be nothing better than to see in the New Year safe and sound, and we hope that it will be a happy and prosperous one all round… before you know it, twelve months will have flown by and it’ll be time to do it all over again.
Merry Christmas, from everyone here at Serious Law.