Mishaps make for summer blues

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

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The summer season can be hazardous for some Taranaki residents, with about $7 million in ACC claims lodged last summer.

Jandal bruising, fingers clipped by deck chairs and allergic reactions to sunscreen were among the ailments to befall the region's summer-loving residents.

There were 10,693 ACC claims in Taranaki from December 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013, with New Plymouth clocking up 8362, South Taranaki 1642 and Stratford 689.

In dollar terms, that translates to $5,289,458 for New Plymouth, $1,451,725 for South Taranaki and $454, 763 for Stratford.

Taranaki's soft sandy beaches have proven dangerous, with 18 claims made by beachgoers after having their feet burnt by hot sand, sand in the eyes, bluebottle jellyfish stings, and sprained ankles from running on the beach.

Hanging around the barbecue also brought with it a string of injuries, including burns, strains from lifting the barbecue and bruising from walking into it. Taranaki clocked in 11 barbecue-related claims.

Jandal and boogie board injuries tied in at four claims respectively.

This Taranaki Daily News reporter is no stranger to summer accidents, and filed for claims after having an allergic reaction to sunscreen that resulted in three days off work, and cutting her foot after slipping on her jandals.

ACC injury prevention programme manager Megan Nagel said there are always a small number of claims each year that have a "distinctly seasonal flavour".

She also said the summer season was a popular time for socialising and outside DIY activities.

"So, we want to remind people to be responsible hosts if serving alcohol, and pay attention to safety when using things like power tools and ladders," Ms Nagel said.

Kiwis keen to throw themselves back into physical activity after a period of idleness should warm up before exercising to reduce their risk of injury.

When at home, New Zealanders are asked to pay attention to hazards that can "cause slips, trips and falls" such as loose rugs, spilled liquid on floors and blown light bulbs.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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