Planning for a safe, injury-free summer

  • Maryan Street

ACC Minister Maryan Street is today wishing New Zealanders a happy Christmas break, but reminding them to take care while relaxing and enjoying themselves.

"As everyone sets off for their holidays it’s important to take a few moments to include the safety of you and your family in your planning. Holidays should be enjoyed, not ruined by preventable injuries,” Maryan Street said.

"If you are feeling tired, try to put off the drive to holiday destinations. Fatigued drivers are dangerous drivers so take a break and only drive when you’re feeling rested and alert.”

Drowning also poses a huge summer concern. ACC figures show that January usually records the highest number of drownings, making the message to make sure children are always supervised in and around water especially timely.

“ACC also sees a rise in injuries caused by DIY renovators at this time of year.
It is important to make sure tools, and DIYers themselves, are fit for the job. If tools look damaged or worn they should be replaced, and jobs meant for more than one person should not be tackled alone,” she said.

“On average, three New Zealanders die each day as a result of injury, and a further 5000 are injured. Between December 2006 and January 2007, more than 13,000 New Zealanders suffered moderate or serious injuries that weren’t related to work. Like all New Zealanders, I want to see that injury rate reduced.”

"Slips, trips and falls are the most common source of injury for ACC, and most of those happen at home. Ladders are the biggest single cause of falls, so try and use them safely these holidays!”

For most of us, the holidays will be enjoyable and rewarding. No one wants their summer to include an unscheduled visit to the accident and emergency department, or a stay in hospital, Maryan Street said.