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Enjoy the holiday, not the break this Easter

Enjoy the holiday, not the break this Easter

Slippery grass, holes in the ground, a rusty nail, and good old just not watching where you are going … the classic Easter Egg hunt claimed a few victims last year.

The half-dozen people who needed medical attention as a result of hunting for chocolatey treats is negligible alongside the 19,951 New Zealanders who needed ACC help after hurting themselves over Easter 2017.

There’s a saying that home is where the heart is, but in and around the house is also where most injuries happen, and last Easter was no exception with 11,077 people hurting themselves at home.

When it comes to indoor injuries, we can’t confirm whether it was Colonel Mustard or Miss Scarlet who were hurt, but there was a good chance it was in the kitchen with a knife. Over a third of the 1176 injuries that occurred inside happened in the kitchen, and 147 were cuts or puncture wounds.

Luckily there are some simple steps you can take to improve safety, such as clearing away clutter; cleaning up wet spills, and making sure there are no loose rugs for excited kids (and maybe some over-enthusiastic adults) to trip on, especially when hunting down hidden eggs.

Easter is often seen as a last chance to do home maintenance ahead of winter. A spot of gardening is said to be therapeutic, but 783 people might disagree with that sentiment after injuring backs, shoulders, arms, fingers, or necks while pruning, planting, digging or weeding.

There were also 279 DIY injuries (involving hammers, saws, power tools, etc), with falls a common cause. Backs and spines bore the brunt with 63 injuries; 30 people hurt fingers or thumbs, while shoulders, hands, wrists, and eyes also sustained damage.

The best way to stay to safe while doing DIY is to be realistic about your ability – if you can’t do it, get an expert in.

Plan your day so you’re not rushing to get finished in the evening when you’re tired and more likely to slip up.

If you’re going to use hire equipment, make sure you have the appropriate safety gear such as closed shoes, ear muffs, safety glasses and face masks.

Falling off ladders can lead to serious injuries. Last Easter there were 142 ladder-related claims; two-thirds of them from falls. Make sure you use a safe, stable ladder; always keep three points of contact (both feet and one hand) with the ladder, and don’t be tempted to over-reach sideways. It’s much safer to get down, move your ladder, and then resume your work.

So whether you’re sniffing out hidden chocolate or preparing to paint the house, think safety first so you enjoy the holiday, not the break, this Easter.

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