It’s officially the silly season! Australian Christmas time is often full of barbeques, beach trips, get-togethers and good times. Unfortunately, they’re often full of injuries, landing hundreds in the hospital throughout the season.
Here are some tips to keeping your festive season free from injuries.
Whether you’re driving to see your loved ones, or headed off for a break, traffic crashes increase at this time of year. Driving in Christmas traffic can be stressful, distracting or tiring – increasing your risk of a crash.
- Take your time on your journey, leaving time for traffic, and consider consulting traffic guides like Google Maps before setting off to avoid road closures or traffic.
- Remember to never use your mobile behind the wheel, and never drink and drive.
- Double demerits will be in place from midnight, Friday 23 December 2022 to Sunday 8 January 2023 inclusive.
Don’t take a fall
Along with a spike in road crashes, the festive season also sees a lot of slips, trips and falls – often resulting in injury. Falls can occur at any time, when decorating or socialising, but there are ways to prevent them.
- Don’t rely on standing on chairs, stools or other furniture when decorating. Always use an appropriately sized ladder and keep a three-point contact with the ladder at all times. If possible, don’t decorate alone – make it an activity with your friends or family.
- Space out your alcoholic drinks throughout the day or event – have a glass of water or non-alcoholic beverage between drinks. With the warm weather, it can be easy to become dehydrated or intoxicated quickly, reducing your coordination, so keep an eye on your own drinking and your loved ones to avoid a fall.
- When unwrapping presents, keep wrapping paper and scissors in a safe, orderly manner. Toys, packaging and stray paper on the floor can lead to slipping, especially when elderly relatives are around.
Many presents for children contain button batteries. These batteries are small, and bite-sized, and can be tempting for young children to place in their mouths or swallow. This can lead to disastrous injuries – as the batteries release corrosive acid that burns the inside of intestines, causing major internal bleeding.
Make sure all batteries are safely secured inside toys, remote controls, cards and gadgets. If a battery is missing and you think it possible a child has swallowed it, take them to hospital immediately.
Australian summers are a great time to enjoy our expansive beaches and poolsides. However, the festive season is commonly the time for tragic drownings.
- Mixing alcohol with a swim is a leading risk factor for drowning. Alcohol impairs your coordination, reaction time, and increases risk-taking behaviours. Look out for your mates and yourself by staying out of the water if you have been drinking.
- Always check the conditions before heading to the beach or river for a dip. Currents and rips can be hidden, and take you by surprise, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. Never swim alone, and if possible, always swim between the flags.
- Watch children around water, even if you aren’t swimming. Between the excitement of Christmas, extra energy from delicious food and time off from school, kids can get caught up and drown. Never let a child swim alone and keep an eye on them while around water.
The team at Injury Matters wish you a safe, happy holiday season
Our team are embracing the holiday season with remote work to keep us safe, relaxed and ready for 2023.
Our Leederville office will be closed from the end of Friday, 16 December, with our team working remotely until our break from the end of Friday, 23 December to 3 January 2023. We’ll be online until we reopen the office for the new year on Monday, 9 January 2023.
If you require immediate support in this time, please call LifeLine WA on 13 11 14.