Costly Christmas: $10m of ACC claims as people injured by lights, trees and presents

It's not a merry Christmas for those who end up injured during the festivities.
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It's not a merry Christmas for those who end up injured during the festivities.

Beneath the tinsel and carefully wrapped presents is a festive frenzy of injuries waiting to happen, the ACC has warned.

More than 12,000 Kiwis found that out the hard way last year, with the corporation's list of Christmas-related injuries showing close to $10m in claims.

From Christmas Eve to Boxing Day 2015, the ACC recorded 12,096 claims, costing $9.91 million so far.

Christmas trees were responsible for injuring 217 people, Christmas lights were the cause of 61 injuries, while 28 people were recipients of gifts that were then blamed for hurting them.

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Auckland had the highest rate of accidents anywhere in the country with 2866 claims over the three days, Christchurch had 945, Tauranga 469, Hamilton 451 and Wellington 399.

While traditionally, it's the over-indulgence of booze that's to blame, ACC spokeswoman Suzanne Muth said they saw all types of incidents over the silly season.

"It can be simple things like reaching up to put a star on the top of the tree, or falling down stairs carrying Christmas presents," she said.

"The main message is that accidents can happen at any time at any place."

Mundane tasks like cleaning also featured in the cause of Christmas period injuries, she said.

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"If you are tidying everything up, just make sure if you're putting things in high places to use a stable ladder. Make sure if you're doing anything in the garden be responsible."

The Christmas period was slightly below the daily average of ACC claims, Muth said.

National Christmas injuries 2015

December 24: 3891, costing $3.1m

December 25: 3734, costing $2.9m

December 26: 4471, costing $3.9m

 - Stuff

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