Christmas could damage your health

SCALDING yourself with mulled wine, catching your eyelid while struggling to try on a new jumper or burning yourself on hot chestnuts are just some of the bizarre accidents you could experience this Christmas.

SCALDING yourself with mulled wine, catching your eyelid while struggling to try on a new jumper or burning yourself on hot chestnuts are just some of the bizarre accidents you could experience this Christmas.

People are being warned to beware of festive perils as new figures reveal the unexpected incidents which have been reported in recent years.

Medics have also seen accidents involving exploding Christmas tree lights, which caused small burns to eyelids and eyeballs, burns from the oven, older people choking on their turkey and nasty hand and limb injuries caused by people trying to get stones out of avocados.

Others can turn up at accident and emergency with eye injuries from poking themselves with Christmas tree branches while getting presents from under it or after being hit in the face by flying champagne corks.


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Dry eyes from sleeping with eyes open after excess alcohol consumption is also common.

Seasonal statistics from the NHS Information Centre show:

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Nationally there were 244 admissions to hospital in 2008/09 after contact with plant thorns, spines and sharp leaves, while a further 5,761 were admitted after falling from or on a ladder.

There were 155 admissions after exposure to controlled fire, a total of 7,641 admissions to due to falling on ice or snow and 1,772 admissions in 2008/09 for contact with hot drinks.

Judy Labanc, head of the Minor Injury Unit for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: 'Christmas can involve many hazards - from carving the turkey to excited children playing with new toys. One year we had a young boy who had been running around without shoes on Christmas Day and managed to injure his foot.

'We would advise everyone to take care.'

Jonathan Williams, NHS Norfolk's assistant director for public health, said: 'Of course NHS Norfolk wants people to have a very merry Christmas, but it is important to remember that the festive season is fraught with potential dangers.

'At this time of year it is all too easy to be caught up in the merriment and not recognise the dangers posed by undercooked turkey, excessive food and alcohol consumption and the icy conditions on our roads and paths.

'We are encouraging everyone to ensure they have an enjoyable and safe Christmas by being aware of the potential hazards and preparing a first aid kit, which is properly stocked with your regular medicines, plasters, medicines for colds, and re-hydration sachets so you can treat minor injuries at home.'

Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47, visit your local pharmacy or go a health centre if you are injured. Timber Hill Centre in Castle Mall Norwich is open over Christmas and there is also one at Beccles Hospital in St Mary's Road, Beccles, which is open from 8am to 8pm every day.

To view the figures visit www.hesonline.nhs.uk

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