NHSScotland is urging DIY enthusiasts across Lothian to take care and be prepared when they reach for the tools this Easter.

The school holidays, Easter weekend, Royal wedding and May bank holiday might tempt Scots to tackle a range of projects around the house or garden, from painting a room and putting up shelves to building a shed or laying a patio.

However, the Be Ready for Easter campaign is encouraging people to take a few simple steps to avoid injury and stay healthy this spring.

All aspiring painters, builders and carpenters are being reminded to know when their GP surgery is open, re-stock the medicine cabinet and first aid box, and use local pharmacies to treat any minor cuts, bumps, bruises and scrapes.

Dr Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian said: “Easter is a popular time for local people to make a start on the DIY projects they’ve been putting off over the winter.
“If you’re planning to do some work around the house over the holidays, make sure you’re properly prepared for any minor cuts and scrapes you might pick up by accident. Also make sure you take the necessary safety precautions when working with tools or potentially hazardous materials and ensure these are lock safely away when you’re done.

“Remember for prompt, expert treatment for everything from cuts, burns and sprains to wound infections and less serious bone breaks you can visit our minor injuries clinic at the Western General Hospital.”

Eunice Muir, Executive Nurse Director at NHS 24, said: “Every Easter we see an increase in calls resulting from DIY accidents and with the extra holidays this month, we are asking Scots to be prepared before they open the toolbox.

“We are encouraging DIY enthusiasts to keep treatments for minor injuries, such as plasters and antiseptic, in the first aid box, visit their pharmacist for health advice and know when they can get an appointment at their GP surgery.”

“With many GP surgeries closed for two four day periods over the Easter weekend and the spring holiday weekend, these are a few simple steps people can take to stay healthy this month.”

The key steps that Be Ready for Easter recommends this spring are:

Restock your medicine cabinet
Minor injuries such as small-scale burns, scratches, knocks and cuts can often be effectively treated at home with readily available treatment such as pain relief, plasters, antiseptic cream and wipes, gauze and tape. Parents are also reminded to restock their medicine cabinet with child-friendly remedies.

Use your local pharmacy
Your pharmacist can offer advice or help if you need over-the-counter remedies or have run out of any prescribed medication.

Know when your GP surgery will be open
Your local doctor’s surgery may be closed for four days during the Easter weekend (Friday, April 22 to Monday, April 25) and for another four days due to the Royal wedding (Friday, April 29 to Monday, May 2) re-opening on Tuesday, May 3.

General advice and information on how to stay healthy this Easter by contacting NHS inform online or 0800 22 44 88.