'Tis the season to be sorry
Over 440,000 claims were made to ACC over the summer months of December, January and February last year, and it cost New Zealand $2.2 million to treat everyone who suffered from these injuries.
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Christmas trees were the cause of 154 accidents in 2015 - mostly related to the traditional act of hanging decorations on the tree (80 injuries last year alone). Those trees have other hidden dangers, including heavy lifting injuries, falls from stools while reaching up high, trip hazards on the floor, and trees toppling. Strings of lights and Christmas Day ham carving mishaps are also noteworthy for sending Kiwis to the emergency department.
The danger goes on, beyond Christmas day - ice cream seems harmless enough, but pity the ACC claimant who had to write the words, “slipped on ice cream, landed hard” on the form. Ice cream-related claims totalled 13 last year, and included strains due to lifting tubs and an RSI from excessive scooping.
Two and a half thousand New Zealanders were affected by sand-related injuries last year, including burns from blisteringly hot beach days, and sand in the eyes.
A common theme among many injuries in ACC statistics is the consumption of alcohol. During the two hours either side of the New Year countdown annually, St John receive triple the number of calls as they would on a regular night. Not a great way to start the year – so it’s a good idea to save or pace the drinking until after you’ve decked the halls for guests, finished cooking, switched appliances off and put the sharp knives away.