Summer fun not without its risks

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2014

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The good old Kiwi barbecue is proving to be one of the most dangerous summer pastimes in Timaru.

According to latest figures released by ACC , there were six barbecue-related incidents last summer.

Further details of those incidents were not available.

Jandal and sand-related accidents were also lodged with ACC over the same period in Timaru, with up to three claims for each incident, senior media adviser Glenn Donovan said.

"In situations where there are three or fewer claims, we're unable to provide specific data for privacy reasons," he said.

Other summer-related injuries causing people pain around other parts of the country included rusty nails piercing through jandals, allergic reactions to sunscreen, sand in eyes, slips on spilled icecreams, collapsing deck chairs and pulled muscles from playing backyard cricket.

There were 439,878 claims received by ACC between December 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013. Of those, 4394 were lodged by people who had sustained an injury in the Timaru district. To date, the cost of those Timaru claims is $2,862,962, Mr Donovan said.

"Bear in mind the costs could increase over time if there are ongoing claims involved."

However, summer is not the most dangerous season of the year, according to ACC figures.

The most "injurious" season last year was autumn with 468,648 claims, followed by summer. Winter then followed with 435,125 claims and spring with 420,690.

ACC injury prevention programme manager Megan Nagel said there were always small numbers of claims each year that have a "distinctively" seasonal flavour.

"Beach-related injuries tend to be more frequent in summer, as you'd expect, while injuries caused by heaters are more common in winter."

Other types of injuries occur constantly throughout the year.

"Falls in the home are the No 1 cause of injuries in New Zealand, regardless of what time of year it is."

Her advice to Kiwis wanting to stay safe over the remaining warm months included being a responsible host if serving alcohol. People should also be careful when using things like power tools and ladders, she said.

At home she advises people to pay attention to hazards, which can cause slips, trips and falls, including loose rugs, spilled liquid on floors and blown light bulbs.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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