Staying safe this Christmas, with simple guidelines from RoSPA

20/12/2017

Christmas is just around the corner, and with RoSPA’s simple guidelines and information you can ensure that this festive period is merry and accident-free.

Homes across the country are gearing up for the festivities, but this shouldn’t mean basic safety precautions should be in ignored.

Keep the Christmas clutter (presents, decorations, party items, cables, extension leads) to a minimum, and make sure stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles. Falls in the home are the most common type of accident, and with children home for the holidays extra care should be taken. 

Fires are one of the most serious hazards around this time of year – you are 50 per cent more likely to die in a house fire at Christmas than any other time of the year. Fairy lights and candles are two of the most common fire risks. You should consider replacing old fairy lights with new ones that meet a higher safety standard. Candles should not be left unattended, and should always be put out before bed or leaving the house. Decorations and Christmas trees should not be displayed near any heat sources.

One of the most memorable parts of Christmas day is the food, so be sure to prepare your kitchen by cleaning and clearing your cooker from tea towels and other flammable items. The majority of house fires start in the kitchen, and while it is due to be a hectic day, do not leave your cooking unattended and try to keep the kitchen a safe-zone, by wiping up spills, and storing any risky items away. 

Be sure that your smoke and CO alarms are fully functioning, as with all of the extra hazards and fuel-burning around the festive period, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Christmas novelties and toys will likely be scattered all over the home, but they could pose a choking hazard to young children. Items to look out for are small toys, marbles, burst balloons, cracker novelties, button batteries, and decorations. Some of these items may not comply with toy safety regulations, so they should be kept away from children.

Parents should also be sure to buy toys appropriate for their child’s age range and take note of the recommended age on the packaging as toys with small parts, which can detach, pose a choking risk.

Button batteries when ingested can cause serious gastrointestinal damage. When combined with saliva, they can burn through the throat or stomach and can cause further damage to other internal organs. Battery compartments should be locked, and button batteries kept out of reach of children.

Sheila Merrill, public safety adviser for RoSPA, said: “Christmas should be a time of celebration, and the last thing you want during the festive period is a trip to A&E.

“With a bit of forward planning and knowledge of the possible risks, you can make your home safe for you, your family and friends, and ensure that your Christmas is fun-filled, and accident-free.”

For more information on how to stay safe this Christmas, visit our website

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