News and Updates

Festive Season Injuries!

December 6, 2017

The festive season is a time to take a break, spend time with family and friends and to enjoy the outdoors.  However, the season proved not so merry for thousands of Kiwis who hurt themselves over the 2016/2017 holiday period, with ACC paying out over $7 million in injury claims.  These claims were for accidents that happened on just six dangerous days over the holiday period - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and January 2.

Figures show 25,403 people made claims for injuries they had suffered on those days, with the highest number of injuries reported on January 2 (4826 claims) and the first day of 2017, when 4602 people were hurt.

The top causes of injury included loss of balance, tripping or stumbling, being pushed or pulled or being knocked over by an object.

Summer can be a particularly dangerous time of year for children, who commonly spend more time outside and often with less supervision.  The most common injuries seen during the summer season include concussions, broken arms and lacerations. These injuries are often caused through falls from monkey bars, bikes, skateboards and scooters. Wearing protective gear, such as a helmet while biking, as well as elbow, wrist and knee guards while skateboarding and riding scooters can help to prevent visits to the emergency room.

Adults are also likely to over exert themselves especially when it comes to activities such as gardening because they often don't think of gardening itself as a form of exercise. However, spending a day digging, planting and clipping can stress muscles, tendons and joints and the more hours spent performing an activity, the more likely you are to experience discomfort, due mainly to the fatigue factor.  Tennis elbow, wrist tendonitis and 1st CMC joint pain (pain at the base of the thumb) are common causes of pain from gardening.  To avoid these kinds of conditions pick tools that are easy to use, preferably those with padded handles and spring-action self-opening features. Pacing is also a good activity strategy, so instead of pushing yourself to bring your garden back to life in one day, spread the task out over a couple of days or weekends to reduce the risk of pain and discomfort through overuse.

Our hand therapy clinics will be staffed throughout the holiday period (closed on weekends and statutory holidays).  Should you be a festive season casualty this year our therapists are able to assess, treat and refer for imaging (should it be required).  ACC claims can be lodged at our clinics for injury caused by an accident. Private patients who have conditions that are not the result of an injury are also welcome. Take care!