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Be careful: Most accident-prone days of the year are Stephen’s Day and 27 December

Colds, minor burns and injuries from falls are the most common types of injuries and illnesses.

LAST YEAR, ACCIDENTS increased by almost 50 per cent on Stephen’s Day in comparison to a typical Wednesday in December. On 27 December there was an increase of 60 per cent of accidents in relation to a typical Thursday in December.

According to VHI Swiftcare Clinics, these two days are the busiest days of the year for treating accidents, illnesses and injuries. Last year, VHI clinics treated 575 patients over these two days, with the most common types of injuries and injuries being coughs, colds, minor burns and injuries from falls.

This year, Dr Brian Gaffney, Medical Director of Vhi SwiftCare Clinics said they were asking people to be extra cautious this year.

Burns, flu and sprains

Over the Christmas people people may be cooking a lot, perhaps in a crowded house, where it can be easy to take your concentration away from hot pans and pots of boiling water. The weather is also generally cold, resulting in icy paths and roads resulting in more sprained ankles and wrists. While other illnesses like the winter vomiting bug and flu are just common illnesses to occur over the winter period.

“We know that generally accidents frequently occur in the kitchen -  this is particularly so over Christmas when the oven is on for longer periods, there can be pots of boiling water and also sharp carving knives to contend with. Many families move furniture around and use extension cables to accommodate Christmas trees which this can lead to unfamiliar trip hazards,” he said.

However, if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you need medical attention Dr Gaffney said:

If the worst comes to the worst, I would advise people to seek medical attention over Christmas rather than waiting, to prevent an illness or injury from deteriorating further.

Many GP practices offer out of hours services and theVhi SwiftCare Clinics in Dundrum, Airside, Swords and Cork are open all year around, including Christmas Day from 8am to 10pm.

Read: All set for Christmas, but now you’re sick? What should you take to help?>

Read: Love/Hate’s Fran, Colin Farrell and Katie Taylor rally support for Merryn>

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