While the Christmas period is about spending quality time with friends and family, it is important to take care while enjoying the festivities.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the death rate rises significantly between 21 December and 19 January each year.

Seasonal illnesses and winter viruses can affect the death rate during winter months: data recorded by the ONS between 2000 and 2010 revealed there were around 25,000 ‘excess winter deaths’* every year.

Road traffic accidents, drink driving, accidental poisoning, falls, and accidents caused by fire are just some of the causes of death according to the ONS.

The number of deaths caused by assault are approximately 25% higher between 21 December and 19 January compared with the other days in these months.

Anthony Welsh, a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Cardiff office, said: “As we prepare to break for Christmas, it is important that we do not forget about our personal safety outside of our usual daily routines, as well as the safety of others.

“Where possible, you should try and avoid travelling in adverse weather conditions, never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, be careful with candles and open flames, and take extra care when putting up decorations or delivering gifts to avoid slips, trips and falls.

“By taking a little extra care over Christmas, you could not only avoid any unnecessary personal injuries or trips to A&E, but also prevent causing harm to someone else.”

*Excess winter deaths are defined as the difference between the number of deaths that occurred in winter (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August to November) and the subsequent four months (April to July).