Surviving Christmas: safety tips for minimising hip and knee injuries

The festive season is a fun time of celebrations with family and friends. With decorating to be done, Christmas tree toppers to arrange and plenty of food preparation and cleaning required to get ready for visits from loved ones, it’s easy to forget to stay aware of potential hazards that could cause injuries to your hips or knees.

In fact, Christmas time comes with an increase in accidents requiring hospitalisation due to rogue toys, falls, alcohol consumption and even champagne corks.

While staying aware and avoiding hazards won’t dampen your festive spirit, it will help keep you safe from any festive season accidents and injuries.

Here’s our top tips for surviving Christmas this year.

  1. Don’t improvise by using furniture as a ladder when decorating.

    If you do require a ladder to do the finishing touches on the tree or to hang your Christmas lights, ensure you choose the right ladder. A step or utility ladder is ideal for indoors while an extension ladder can be used outside. Ensure you set your ladder up on a firm surface, wear proper footwear with good grip and have someone spot you during your climb.
  2. Make sure you clean up trip hazards.

    Wrapping paper, the kids’ toys, decoration storage boxes and other small items are dangerous when left on the floor around the house. Particularly for elderly loved ones, these items pose trip hazards that put them at risk of a knee or hip injury, so make sure you keep your living areas clean.
  3. Take care of your joints when you travel.

    Christmas can be one of the busiest times for travelling long distances. Whether you plan on sitting in a car for hours, flying overseas or jumping on the train to travel interstate, sitting can put pressure on your knee and hip joints. Make sure you stop and stretch your legs regularly, support your hips and knees with pillows if they feel sore, and avoid carrying heavy suitcases and bags.
  4. Don’t drink and decorate.

    Drinking and putting up Christmas lights or decorating the tree is a risky combination. Alcohol inhibits your cognitive and motor skills, putting you more at risk of falling, no matter how experienced you might be at tree decorating. Alcohol is a significant factor in the increased number of injuries and hospitalisations at Christmas time, so keep your celebratory drinks for after you’ve finished decking the halls.

Remember, while it is ok to get caught up in the excitement of the festive season, it’s also ok to look out for your own and other’s wellbeing.

If you do think you have injured your knee or hip during the silly season and would like to find out more about your treatment options, Dr Stuart MacKenzie has created a free specialist e-guide on knee surgery. 


18 Dec 2018

Published by Default Admin

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