Christmas is a cracker for ending up in hospital... so beware ladders, batteries and fairy lights!

As families across the country tuck in to their turkey lunch, pulling a Christmas cracker is the most traditional way of celebrating the day.

But beware, you could break your arm! In fact,  watch out for the Christmas tree, fairy lights, new shirts and especially batteries. They are all hazards.

 According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Friday before Christmas is statistically the worst day for accidents.

Danger: Falling off make-shift ladders and decorating the Christmas tree

As families make their last-minute preparations, RoSPA warns:

  • Twenty-seven people have died in the past 10 years from testing batteries on their tongue.
  • Every year there are a number of broken arms - from pulling Christmas crackers.
  • Two hundred will end up in hospital because they haven't removed all the pins from a new shirt.
  • There were 350 accidents last year involving fairy lights, including electric shocks and burns and falls while putting them up. And
  • Twenty-six  people have died watering Christmas trees with the lights on since 1997.

Altogether 80,000 revellers will need hospital treatment for Christmas-related accidents.

The most common accidents involve children biting into glass baubles,and 2,000 adults falling off make-shift ladders. 

Children end up in hospital after biting Christmas tree baubles

Hundreds will cut themselves with knives and scissors they are using to open presents.

The dangers of Christmas are being highlighted by Bureau Veritas, leading testers of electrical equipment. Their advice is: Only buy products that carry the CE Mark.

Look for safety marks such as the BSI Kitemark Change your lights every three years Never use an old mains light set with single insulated cable.

Only use lights outdoors which have been specifically designed for this purpose. Always turn off the lights when you go to bed.

Spokesman Paul Harris said: 'A nice set of Christmas lights can really add something to the celebrations however consumers should not forget to follow basic safety measures if they want to avoid electrical hazards and fires.

'I would always recommend people read and follow the manufacturers' instructions and keep the lights away from children.'