Lawn mower injuries dominate summer ACC claims

Summer - three golden months of long days, balmy nights and the free time to get out in the garden or clear out the gutter you've been talking about doing since winter.

But as the mercury rises, so too does the number of people hurting themselves in their own backyards. 

ACC figures provided to Stuff show common summertime activities have been the cause for thousands of claims in recent years.

The culprits? Gardening, lawnmowers, swimming pools and swing sets - to name a few.

Gardens are rife with sharp and spiky instruments and snaking, slippery hoses, so mucking in can be an accident waiting to happen. 

Over the summer months - December 1 to February 28 - since 2015/16, more than 110,000 New Zealanders have reported hurting themselves while gardening. 

Soft tissue injuries - damaging muscles, tendons or ligaments - were the most frequent complaint, but thousands also reported fractures and dislocations.

And spare a thought for the 3160-odd people who ended up with a foreign body in an "orifice or eye". 

Already this summer, close to 5000 people have made gardening-related claims to ACC. 

It's not just chainsaws and hedge trimmers causing chaos: the humble ladder accounts for most gardening injuries. 

A further 9150 people hurt themselves falling off, slipping, skidding, lifting and tripping or stumbling over ladders in the past three summers. 

Lawnmowers were also responsible for injuring more than 8000 people.

People reported receiving soft tissue injuries, lacerations and even burns from their lawnmowers. 

Loss of control or balance, slipping or skidding, collisions and straining from lifting or carrying lawnmowers were the most common causes of injury. 

Swimming, Sandpits and swinging about

We've all been there: you're doing your best to walk gingerly along wet tiles to the pool and thwack - you're down. 

The past three summers - year to date included - have seen more than 5000 people claim ACC for swimming pool-related injuries. 

Most have been caused by losing balance or slipping and skidding, but collisions and being "knocked over by object" also make up a few hundred claims. 

Think building sandcastles is fairly innocuous?

The 149 people hurt in sandpits over the past few summers might say otherwise. 

People most commonly reported losing balance and being struck by a person or animal in a sandpit, resulting in lacerations and punctures.​

There's something about playing on a swing set that fills kids and adults alike with glee - but that's not without its dangers, either. 

In the past three summers, more than 1100 people have been hurt on swing sets, but none so far this summer. 

Let's get physical

Gone are the days when trampolines came without net walls and covers over the springs, but they're still a major cause of injury.  

Since the summer of 2015/16, more than 9300 New Zealanders have been hurt playing on trampolines. 

More than 5700 were for soft tissue injuries, while close to 1700 people reported fractures or dislocations. 

Lacerations, punctures and "stings" were frequent, so too were dental injuries. 

This summer, between December 1 and 21, 325 trampoline injury claims had been made to ACC. 

Fancy a game of backyard cricket? Take heed, it's not all fun and games. 

More than 100 people have filed injury claims to ACC in the past three summers due to backyard cricket injuries. 

The most common ailments came from losing balance or "personal control", followed by "twisting movements" or strains. 

Soft tissue injuries were most common, but some also needed a trip to the dentist. 

There have been fewer than four backyard cricket-related claims made to ACC so far this summer. 

-Stuff.co.nz/Hannah Martin




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