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The Festive Fear: stressed Britons at risk of injury during the Christmas season

Is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year making you feel stressed out?

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16 December 2015 / by National Accident Helpline Communications / legal-and-consumer-news

•    More than 1 in 4 (27%) of us feels more stressed than usual during the festive period 
•    1 in 10 (10%) feel under pressure cooking for so many people 
•    There could be nearly half a million burnt turkeys and fires in the home 

The busy Christmas season is upon us, and the nation is gearing up for a month of festive celebrations. Despite the seasonal merriment, a survey has revealed that the Festive Fear can compound the risk of injury or harm, as the pressure to host the perfect Christmas mounts. 

New research by National Accident Helpline shines a light on the seasonal stress many of us are feeling and the injuries suffered as we rush to prepare for the celebrations. The study of 2,000 people shows that 1 in 4 (27%) feel more stressed than usual during the festive period, rising to nearly a third (32%) amongst women. 

It appears the pressure to host and cook are the biggest stress factors, with more than 1 in 10 women (13%) and only 6% of men feeling the pressure when cooking. Nearly 1 in 5 people (18%) find a busy home overwhelming and a quarter admit their home is messier than usual. Amidst this panic and bustle, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men (12%) say they are more likely to do things in a rush.

During this busy time of year, the festive fear and rush can lead to mistakes and accidents happening. National Accident Helpline can reveal the seasonal injuries suffered while preparing for the perfect Christmas: 
•    Nearly half (49%) of those preparing Christmas food have suffered an accident 
•    1 in 10 (11%) have spilled hot fat on themselves when cooking
•    Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) have cut themselves preparing vegetables
•    More than 1 in 40 (2.7%) people have suffered an electric shock due to badly wired Christmas lights
•    1 in 50 (2.1%)  have fallen out of the loft while getting decorations down
•    Nearly a third (32%) of people have fallen on ice 
•    8% of those aged 16-24 have had to make a trip to A&E during the festive season 

What does this mean in numbers? From the survey results, it is estimated that over the Christmas period: 
•    There have been 400,000 burnt Christmas turkeys 
•    500,000 people have had a gas leak or gas emergency in the home 
•    Half a million people have had a fire in the home 
•    2.6 million people have fallen off a stool or ladder while hanging up decorations 
•    600,000 people have burned themselves roasting chestnuts over an open fire 
•    700,000 people have been injured in a sale rush, when shopping 

Russell Atkinson, CEO of National Accident Helpline says: 

“The festive period should be a time of celebration, spent safe and warm with your family and loved ones. For this reason it is vital that in the rush and panic to prepare for Christmas, we take care and look out for ourselves. 

“Unfortunately the festive and winter season can bring with it hazards for your health, from the cold weather and long, dark nights to unsafe electric decorations around the home. As such, we urge people to pause and take steps to keep themselves, their friends and family safe, in order to ensure they have a relaxed and cheerful holiday season.” 


For further press information please contact Fiona Gildea on 020 3696 5800 / or

You can also follow NAH on Twitter @NatAccHelpline and find us on Facebook

Notes to editors 

The survey of 2,083 British people was commissioned by National Accident Helpline and carried out by Censuswide in December 2015.

Calculations are based on the ONS population figures of those aged 16 or over, as of 09/11/2015:  52,443,290 

The turkey calculation is based on the number of turkeys bought and 4% who have burned their Christmas dinner.

About National Accident Helpline: 

National Accident Helpline is the UK’s leading provider of personal injury advice, services and support, and represents 50 legal practices across the UK. If a consumer has suffered an accident or injury which was someone else’s fault we can help them understand if they have a legitimate claim, and we will connect them with one of our specialist PI panel solicitor firms so they can seek appropriate redress. Through our approved network of specialist personal injury solicitor firms, we champion consumer rights for people who have suffered a personal injury, helping those with genuine claims to secure access to justice to help aid their recovery. 

National Accident Helpline is an ethical and professional organisation. We have industry-leading standards and we never cold call or send spam texts or spam emails to attract new clients.  

National Accident Helpline is part of NAHL Group plc and is a registered company, incorporated in the UK and regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of claims management activities. For more information please visit the website:  

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