Christmas calamities

First aid at Christmas

The holiday period brings great fun for many, especially children who can be very excitable at this time of year. Unfortunately there are also a wide range of hazards which can cause accidents and first aid issues. In this blog we explore a few of the potential problems and offer suggestions to help you avoid them and have a safe festive period.

1) Kitchen dangers and food related issues

During holiday times, the kitchen is often an extremely busy place in the house, with multiple pots, pans and ovens pumping out heat at the same time. Young children, especially toddlers are inquisitive and burns are an unfortunately all-too common household accident. Try to keep your children away from the kitchen of possible whilst you are cooking and never, ever leave a small child unattended in a kitchen when there are hot pots on the stove.

Choking on nuts or sweets is also a very common problem at this time of year. Ensure babies and children are unable to reach tins of sweets or nuts. It is also important to cut up food into shapes which are less likely to cause a full blockage in the airway.

Always remember to tidy away any unfinished alcoholic drinks as babies and children might inadvertently drink these. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause health issues for young children.

2) Slips, trips and falls

Many people are treated in hospital following accidents whilst putting up decorations and trees. Falls from ladders or chairs can cause head injuries and sprained joints. Get so one to hold your ladder if possible.

Falls from new bicycles, skates, skateboards and the latest craze, swegways are very common during the festive holiday. Scrapped knees and elbows can be dealt with by washing the wound carefully to remove grit or dirt, putting pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding and then covering with a sterile dressing or plaster.

3) Fevers, coughs and colds

Wintertime obviously brings a higher risk of little ones catching infections and falling ill. If your baby develops a high temperature, cool them down by removing excess clothing and reducing the ambient temperature in the room. Keep your child well hydrated and seek help quickly if your baby under 1 is refusing to feed.

High fever could be a sign of meningitis but it’s important to recognise other less common early signs of the illness. Visit

Children often get coughs and colds and the best thing you can do is keep them warm, well hydrated and allow them to get plenty of rest until they feel better. Calpol can be used for babies over 3 months if they are in pain. If in doubt, seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional. (Don’t rely on the “advice” given by unqualified people on online forums).


Improve your first aid knowledge by attending a short baby/child first aid course soon. Open courses in Cockfosters or private groups (minimum of 6 people) in the comfort of your own home (babes in arms also welcome). This service is very popular with NCT antenatal and postnatal groups. Daytime, evening or weekend sessions available to suit your group. Prices start from £20pp. Email for details or visit