File photo of the big freeze in 2010. Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Careful Now

Vhi issues warning ahead of busiest day for treating accidents and injuries

Coughs, colds, trips and falls are the most common injuries and illnesses around Christmas. Watch yourselves.

WITH CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES now well under way, Vhi SwiftCare has issued a warning on staying safe and well ahead of 27 December, the busiest day of the year at its clinics for treating accidents and injuries.

Over the last six years, figures at Vhi SwiftCare Clinics have consistently shown the day after St Stephen’s Day to be the worst day of the year for patients presenting with injuries from accidents and mishaps.

The volume of patients presenting on the 27th increases by 40 per cent compared to a typical busy day in Vhi SwiftCare. The most common type of injuries and illnesses usually presented on this day include coughs and colds and slips, trips and falls.

Urging people to take extra caution this festive season, Dr Brian Gaffney, Medical Director with Vhi SwiftCare said that during Christmas people are out of their normal routine spending more time in their homes and on holiday.

“During the festive period people will relax and generally enjoy themselves,” he said. “The home environment becomes a much more hectic place with returning family members, visitors coming and going and in many households there will be children off school and around the house.”

Vhi has warned people to wear appropriate footwear and allow extra time to travel if conditions become icy or frosty.

“If you have no option but to walk on a slippery surface, bend slightly forward and shorten your stride or shuffle your feet for better stability,” Gaffney said.

In the event of a fall Gaffney said you should not rush to get up and if you suspect a bone is broken, go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.

For all of you donning the chef’s hat today, Vhi has these top tips to offer for keeping you, your family and your guests safe:

  • Allow frozen poultry to fully thaw before preparing to cook and don’t wash raw meat and poultry as this can spread bacteria.
  • Don’t overstuff and make sure you pack the stuffing in loosely. Allow for extra cooking time with stuffed meats.
  • Typically the turkey should be cooked for 35 minutes per pound weight (or per 454 grams) plus an extra 35 minutes at 180°C or Gas Mark 4-5.
  • Left-over turkey should be removed from the bone, cut into smaller portions and placed in a covered dish in the fridge within 2 hours.
  • Allow food to cool before storing it in the fridge.
  • Wash your hands loads – before, during and after food preparation.

Be safe and enjoy your Christmas folks.

Read: Government plans free GP care by 2015, universal insurance by 2016>

Read: VHI prices set to rise next month>

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