The Christmas season is related to preventable harms from playing cards, tree decorations, and presents, in addition to overeating and overdrinking, so do the advantages of Christmas outweigh the harms?
Within the Christmas situation of The BMJ, Robin Ferner and Jeffrey Aronson dig out some cautionary tales from the archives.
They discover that Christmas playing cards generally is a potential supply of hurt. In 1876 a younger man developed arsenic poisoning after portray festive playing cards with the extremely poisonous Scheele’s Inexperienced paint. Extra lately, a lady amputated her finger tip whereas posting Christmas playing cards by way of the spring-loaded flap of a letter field.
Accidents from falls whereas decking the home with Christmas lights are frequent—and a reminder to not get on ladders—they could tip if you’re tipsy.
Gadgets swallowed unintentionally may pose issues, they write. Bulbs from Christmas lights, sharp pointed confetti stars, and Christmas tree formed decorations, have all discovered their approach down toddlers’ throats and have needed to be eliminated.
Christmas timber, too, can deliver ache in addition to pleasure. Pine needles can penetrate the lungs, inflicting respiration difficulties, and branches can poke you within the eye, inflicting corneal abrasion. Burns from candles are additionally frequent (at the very least in Bern, Switzerland, the place it’s customary to gentle candles on Christmas timber).
Christmas presents pose unexpected risks too, they add—for instance, a pet hamster unfold lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, whereas Haitian bongo drums carried anthrax bacilli of their goatskin hides.
Extreme consuming and consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can’t solely enhance waistlines, but in addition set off outbreaks of gastroenteritis and salmonella an infection and trigger coronary heart complaints (“vacation coronary heart syndrome”).
Lastly, some individuals reap the benefits of the Christmas holidays to take pleasure in outside pursuits, at the very least in hotter climes. In Australia, Christmas brings a rise in catastrophic accidents from jet snowboarding.
So is it price it, ask the authors?
In 2002, researchers analysed the associated fee effectiveness of Christmas and concluded that “Christmas is just not price efficient.”
However price effectiveness is just not the whole lot, they are saying. “Most of our sources are anecdotal, and we didn’t discover robust proof of widespread adversarial results. So we’ll go away you to resolve whether or not the advantages of Christmas outweigh its harms.”
In conclusion, they are saying “Keep secure, maintain calm, stick with it, and luxuriate in a really Merry Christmas!”
Function: Harms and the Xmas issue, BMJ (2020). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m4067
British Medical Journal
Do the advantages of Christmas outweigh its harms? (2020, December 16)
retrieved 19 December 2020
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