ACC pays out to pudding victims

SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 05:00 22/12/2012

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Careful with that Christmas pudding, it could be dangerous.

A mishap with the festive dinner ranks alongside ping-pong and trampolining accidents among Christmas Day injuries that cost taxpayers more than $2 million in ACC payouts.

Ham-related accidents again featured prominently in 2011, with several claims being accepted for carving mishaps.

On the sweeter side, flaming brandy on a Christmas pudding proved too hot to handle for one person after it "ignited more than just appetites".

Sporting activities were a common culprit and included trampolining, pogo sticks, kite flying, sand-boarding, ping-pong, T-ball, long jumping, dancing, fly fishing and the very Kiwi slip 'n slide.

Reminiscing about the past was also dangerous, after an "elastics" demonstration for the grandkids ended in injury.

ACC insurance and prevention services general manager John Beaglehole said 3527 yuletide claims were accepted in the past year, costing $2.5m to date in treatment, care and rehabilitation. Almost half were the result of a fall.

The previous year, 3040 claims were accepted, costing just under $2m.

Mr Beaglehole said the range of claims was endless. "It really is one of these cases - if you can think of it, we would have seen it."

Some sage advice included clearing away wrapping paper to avoid slips and being careful not to burn yourself on the barbecue.

Many injuries were put down to adults falling off their children's Christmas presents, and others involved accidents while attempting to work off the festive excesses. Falling off the back of moving treadmills, tumbling from a step machine, and dropped dumbbells all featured on the injury list.

ACC did not call for abstinence from alcohol, which is involved in about 30 per cent of ACC claims, at Christmas, but advised people to know their limits: "Don't play backyard cricket when you're completely shit-faced."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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