Fill Up Your Stocking With Safety This Christmas

Christmas is a magical time of the year for children but can also be one of the most stressful and dangerous. Houses become crowded with lots of family and friends visiting, excitement levels are high and additional dangers are not always thought about.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), more than 6,000 people will end up in hospital on Christmas Day and over the Christmas period more than 80,000 people will visit A&E.

With that in mind health visitors from Lincolnshire Community Health Services have issued some tips for seasonal safety:

  • If button batteries are swallowed by children take the child to A&E immediately. If a button battery gets stuck in the throat or gullet it can trigger an electrical charge and create caustic soda, which is the chemical used to unblock drains. This can burn the child's insides. Do not make them sick or offer any food or drink.
  • Remember Christmas decorations can be a fire hazard, avoid hanging them from lights.
  • ROSPA report that a Christmas tree fire can destroy a room in under a minute, Remember to unplug your lights before going to bed.
  • Be aware that Christmas novelty gifts will not comply with toy safety standards - always check the labels before giving to a child.
  • Make sure you buy the appropriate age group toy for a child as they have to comply with different standards and regulations according to age.
  • Think choking hazard - keep an eye out for small items that may have fallen off a toy or a decoration. Ensure older children's toys such as Lego are kept out of reach as they can cause a choking hazard.
  • Christmas plants with berries can be harmful if swallowed keep them out of the reach of children.

Leanne McHugh, Practice Educator, from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: "Christmas should be a magical time for all the family and we hope that these tips will keep safety at the forefront for families during the festive period.

"On behalf of the health visiting team at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust I would like to wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas."