This festive time of year is a jolly one but there are extra risks in our homes and workplaces that as First Aiders it is wise that we are prepared for. Here are 5 of our top things to be aware of during this festive period.

1) Christmas Tree Lights

Make sure that you unplug your Christmas Tree completely when going out or when going to bed. Having lights plugged in but unattended means an increased fire risk. Incase of a fire make sure you GET OUT and GET HELP.

2) Christmas Cheer

Many of us like a tipple at this time of year, but it is important that we remember our limits. Not only can a little too much cheer lead to very awkward conversations at the office the day after the annual Christmas Party, but when at home, being inebriated will lower your ability to be able to look after yourself and others. If you do find someone in an intoxicated state and it is safe to do so, remember to keep them warm. Drunk people do not feel the cold the same way as sober people and it is very easy to suffer from hypothermia. Also, the signs and symptoms that they display may be delayed due to their condition. Slips, trip and falls will also increase as the level of intoxication goes up. Remember the first step of First Aid is to check for danger. This includes the danger from uncooperative casualties who due to their intoxication may be a risk to you. If in doubt, get help.

3) Christmas Dinner

Wow! The kitchen becomes even more of a minefield than usual at this time of year. Hot pans, screaming children, arguing grandparents, burning turkeys. All of this contributes to the risks of burns and scolds increasing dramatically. Remember, cold water and a minimum of 10 minutes. A quick rinse under the tap is never enough, and for burns more severe that superficial burns, make sure you use clingfilm or special burn dressing to cover the wound.

4) Response Times

The Ambulance Service are extremely busy at this time of year. Try to keep calls to 999 to a minimum. If you can escort the casualty to get help yourself at the local A&E then do so. Minor incidents and injuries are a drain on the finite resources that the Ambulance Service has access to at this time of year. Remember to still dial 999 in the case of a life-threatening emergency.

5) Cold and Ice

Cold and Ice are another risk at this time of year. make sure you fully clear your windows before driving. Also keep a blanket, flask and some food in your car. Making sure you don't run around on a nearly empty tank is also useful. That way if you get stuck, you can use the engine sparingly to keep warm. Hypothermia, thirst and hunger are real risks if you get stuck out in the cold. Make sure you know what to do and pack carefully.

It's not all doom and gloom though. This is a wonderful time of year where you can spend time with family and friends and relax before 2019 arrives. We at Binary Plus Training look forward to seeing you in the New Year at one of our amazing First Aid Courses.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.