ACC: Be safe today

Last updated 08:14 25/12/2012

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Who would have thought that new toys or wrapping paper could cause injuries on Christmas Day.

ACC records reveal 58 people in Southland made a claim after injuring themselves on Christmas day last year, costing $17,823 in treatment, support and rehabilitation: 37 in Invercargill City, 4 in Gore District, and 17 in Southland District.

Nationwide, ACC accepted 3527 claims from people who injured themselves on December 25 last year  costing more than $2 million in treatment, support and rehabilitation. That was 490 more claims than Christmas day the previous year.

ACC injury and prevention services general manager John Beaglehole said Christmas day was a time when New Zealanders liked to relax, prepare some good food, play with their new toys, and spend quality time with their families - not in the doctor's waiting room or at hospital.

"Last year, 3500 Kiwis had their Christmas day blighted by injuries. Their injuries occurred while rushing to get their presents or playing with new toys - or their grand children's toys. Some pulled a muscle while cooking the Christmas dinner, others were burned on the BBQ, were hit by a flying cork, or cut a hand opening a bottle or cutting crayfish."

"They hurt themselves while doing a bit of gardening, setting up a tent, diving into the pool or swimming at the beach, playing cricket or dodgeball with the family, or falling off scooters and skateboards. And 1700 of last years' claims were the result of falls."

Mr Beaglehole said wherever people were planning to celebrate Christmas Day 2012 there were some simple ways to help minimise the chance of having an accident. 

"About 30 per cent of injuries involve alcohol, so remember to be a responsible host if serving alcohol this Christmas, to ensure your friends and family stay out of harm's way.

''Use a ladder or step ladder to hang decorations, not a chair or worse still a chair balanced on a table. Ensure your Christmas tree has a sturdy base to stop it toppling over. You may have extra people staying, clear away the Christmas debris to prevent them tripping."

Possible causes of Christmas day injuries

  • Playing with presents
  • Tripping on wrapping paper
  • Falling from skateboards, bicycles, trampolines, scooters, walls, couches, beds and tripping on the stairs
  • Setting up a tent
  • Gardening
  • Burned while cooking / BBQing
  • Muscle strain / roll ankle while cooking Christmas dinner
  • Cutting hand while slicing the roast, opening a bottle, cutting an avocado
  • Stung by bees / bitten by dogs
  • Playing sport with the family - beach cricket, dodgeball, basketball
  • Diving in to a pool / swimming at the beach
  • Lifting a niece, lawnmower, outdoor furniture, luggage, petrol can.

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Tips for keeping safe

  • If serving alcohol, be a responsible host, to ensure your friends and family stay out of harm's way
  • Use a ladder or step ladder to hang decorations, not a chair.
  • Clear away Christmas wrapping and debris to avoid people tripping
  • Keep stairwells clear of obstacles, such as toys, sports equipment or pets
  • Your kitchen is likely to be one of the busiest rooms in your house, but it's also one of the most accident-prone. Knives, heat, fire, cupboards, slippery floors and cleaning products cause numerous injuries every year. Take care while cooking.
  • Liquid on the floor are a big cause of slips. When spills happen, wipe them up immediately.
  • Rushing causes injuries, stay calm and enjoy the day.
  • - Source: ACC 

 

- The Southland Times

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