Attention parents: Step away from the kid's skateboard

MACKAY Base Hospital emergency physicians have a message for adults this Christmas - stay off the booze and give the kids' skateboards and trampolines a miss too.

Last year 118 people visited the Emergency Department on Christmas day and many were there for avoidable injuries.

Dr Neale Thornton said too much Christmas cheer resulted in trips to the emergency for some adults.

"I caution parents, especially dads who've had a few beers, against using the kids' presents," he said.

"It is not uncommon for us to see older people falling off skateboards they haven't been on for years, or trampolines.

"Last year seven children were treated for lower limb fractures as well. One man had a severely fractured ankle after falling off his son's skateboard.".

Dr Thornton said the Emergency Department was busy over the festive season with many GP clinics closed.

"We need to keep the ED free for emergencies, and appeal to people to take care and avoid the silly season injuries," he said.

Emergency physician Dr Dale Hanson said Christmas could be a tragic time in the ED. "Three types of tragedies mar Christmas for ED staff and destroy Christmas forever after for affected families," he said.

"These are road traumas, violence and drowning. Unfortunately we see that alcohol is often a common thread to these events."

Dr Dale Hanson's Christmas safety tips:

  •  Check your pool fence. Children in the water must be supervised. Adults drown too - often due to alcohol
  • Don't give half a gift - pushbikes should come with bike helmets and skateboards should come with a helmet, knee and elbow pads
  • Trampolines should have padding and safety nets and be appropriately placed. If you fall off the trampoline onto the concrete you could get a head injury or a broken arm.
  • Children do not have the co-ordination or weight to safely control a motorbike or a quad bike. This Christmas gift sometimes results in tragedy.
  • Remember the most precious gift of all is quality time with mum, dad and family.

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