Holiday injury toll tops 1000

While no injuries involved rogue reindeer or fur-trimmed red-suited men catching fire were reported in Otago, the excitement of the Christmas holiday period still got the better of some people.

From December 24 to January 3, the 459 injury claims accepted in Dunedin had cost $45,389 so far, statistics obtained from ACC showed.

Throughout Otago, more than 1000 claims had been accepted in the same period and cost more than $140,000 so far.

Descriptions of the accidents showed a number of injuries were as a result of people injuring themselves getting out of bed.

One person twisted their back jumping out of bed, while another person's roly-poly to exit their bed resulted in a neck injury.

In another accident, a person injured themselves while shaking a table cloth.

A strong wind played its part in another injury - a man was hurt when the wind blew him over, causing him to trip and break some glasses.

However, the number of claims in Dunedin was well down on the 585 accepted in the same period in 2012-13.

ACC spokesman Glenn Donovan could not say what had caused the drop, but it was not ''ginormous'', and claim numbers fluctuated from year to year within a region.

Every year, about one-third of all claims resulted from injuries in and around the home and last year 620,000 claims were made in New Zealand for injuries at home, he said.

''People often tend to let their guard down at home and we are less inclined to think about safety measures - and that's when it can tip us up.''

While no information was kept on how much alcohol influenced claim numbers during the holiday period, it was estimated alcohol contributed to 11% of all claims made to ACC, he said.

Southern District Health Board clinical leader ED Otago Caroline Collins said the daily average of patients during the holiday period was 118 compared with 114 for the previous two holidays.

A large number of patients brought in after motor vehicle accidents had pushed up the number, she said.

Regional figures for Christmas holiday period road crashes were not yet available, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transport said.

- timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

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