Patrice Dougan

Patrice Dougan is a NZME. News Service reporter based in Auckland.

ACC warns of Christmas dangers

A still from ACC's video warning of Christmas dangers.
A still from ACC's video warning of Christmas dangers.

Safety shouldn't be thrown in the bin with all the used wrapping paper, warns ACC.

Around 3500 people were injured on Christmas Day 2012, with more than 36,500 claims pouring in for the period from December 25 to January 2, according to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

The bill for those injuries cost the taxpayer around $24 million.

While some were not so serious - "cutting open Christmas present. Cut finger'' - , others were, including those sustained falling off ladders while decorating the tree, getting superglue in eyes while wrapping presents, and getting electrocuted by Christmas lights.

In total the corporation received 154 Christmas tree-related claims, 39 Christmas light-related claims, and 29 present-related claims last festive season.

So this year ACC has released a Christmas-themed safety video in a bid to avoid such seasonal mishaps.

The video shows a Santa with a London accent and a grumpy teenage elf demonstrating hazards in a typical Kiwi home. The short clip focuses on how to prevent falls, such as clearing away toys, wiping up spills quickly and not running power cords across the floor.

"Don't let your home gain infamy by being the house where Santa trips and falls this Christmas Eve,'' ACC urged.

It receives 290,000 claims relating to falls in the home each year.

Over the holiday period last year 18,678 people sustained soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, strains and sprains, 10,078 Kiwis claimed for a cuts, puncture wounds and stings, while 3228 people suffered fractures or dislocations.

The top cause of injury last festive season was given as "ground/path'', with 7744 people receiving such injuries, followed by live animals (2362), sharp objects/knives (2180), and recreation/sports equipment (1962).

So with that in mind, it may be wise to follow ACC's advice and use the next 24 hours to "Santa-safe your home''.

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Top 10 causes of injury during holiday period 25/12/12 to 2/1/2013:

1 - Ground/path, 7744

2 - Live animals, 2362

3 - Sharp objects/knives, 2180

4 - Recreation/sports equipment, 1962

5 - Another person, 1949

6 - Self, 1710

7 - Furniture, 1360

8 - Floor, 1315

9 - Steps/stairs, 1266

10 - Door/gate, 818

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Top three injuries during holiday period 25/12/12 to 2/1/2013:

1 - Soft tissue injuries (bruises, strains, sprains), 18,678

2 - Laceration, puncture wound, sting, 10,078

3 - Fracture/dislocation, 3228

- APNZ

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