Six tips for avoiding injuries during the silly season
During Christmas, a cocktail of stress, excitement and tiredness can take hold. In this environment, accidents can easily happen. However with some careful planning, many accidents can be avoided. In this guide by Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, our expert physiotherapy team will talk you through some smart solutions for the silly season.
1. Give gifts that encourage physical activity
According to the 2018 Active Kids Australia Healthy Report Card, only 13% of children (aged 15-17 years old); along with 23-64% of primary school aged children did an hour of muscle and bone strengthening activities each day.
This is concerning because it shows that kids are more excited by stationary, gaming and computer-based activities. No surprises there! To remedy this, we recommend buying sports-related gifts this Christmas and involving the whole family in fun backyard sports challenges. This can often be a fun way to inspire the kids.
2. Kids need adequate protective gear for sports
There’s nothing wrong with letting your children loose for a bit of rough and tumble play. Although it’s important to mitigate against accident risks too. If you bought your child a bike, skateboard, or a pair of rollerblades for Christmas, then It’s always a good idea to invest in a helmet, along with protective knee and elbow pads to protect them on their roving adventures.
3. Taking a break from sport over Christmas
If you regularly play sport and stop training over the Christmas break, your body will lose strength and muscle condition. This may result in a higher risk of sports-related injuries when you return to training.
It would not be wise to go straight into your regular boxing, weight-lifting, cardio or running program after the Christmas break. Your unprepared body may have other ideas and may protest in the form of a sprain, strain or sporting injury.
Instead of allowing your body to lose muscle condition and strength over Christmas, you could substitute the gym with going for daily walks or swimming in the ocean. When you return to your workout program after Christmas, you could try a gradually tapered training program that increases in intensity over a number of weeks to avoid injury and get you back to your original fitness levels.
Also, don’t forget about warming up and cooling down with each workout to prevent injury as well. For more advice on sports injuries, speak with the team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.
4. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption
Alcohol is usually the chief mischief-maker and reason for many people’s Boxing Day regrets.
One 2018 study by Monash University in Melbourne analysed eight hospital Emergency Rooms across Australia and New Zealand. The study screened nearly 8,500 patients seen over a seven day period in December 2014. Of these, 801 presentations in the ER (or 9.5%) were identified as being alcohol-related. These people went a bit overboard on the partying and as a result their decision-making, motor coordination and cognitive ability was impaired, resulting in accidents and injuries.
5. Avoid Kitchen calamities
Boiling water, sharp knives and heavy objects can make your kitchen a hazardous place during the Christmas period. It’s always a good idea to keep the kids out of the kitchen and to avoid having alcohol yourself until you’ve finished with cooking. Also it’s wise to clean up spills as they occur to avoid slips and falls.
6. Don’t ignore pain
According to the Australian Pain Management Association, If you have problems with chronic pain, then Christmas can sometimes be a rather intense and demanding time. You might be expected to pitch in with tasks like shopping, cooking or preparing meals.
Remember to ask your family members and friends for help with these daily tasks. Also, you should ask for their understanding if you’re experiencing pain. Remember to do your stretching exercises. Often these gentle movements will lessen the pain. For a detailed and personalised stretching program that will help you with chronic pain, you can speak with us at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.
Over the years we have seen many different Christmas related injuries at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, from drunken falls down the stairs, to daring dad’s trying out their kid’s skateboards and falling off. If you would like some advice on managing pain or injury during Christmas, please give us a call today on (02) 9314 3888.