Christmas hazards a real concern for ACC


Most of the country will be taking it easy tomorrow, but holidaymakers are being warned not to get too complacent.

Figures released by ACC show Christmas Day celebrations do have their hazards, and last year they left thousands of people with injuries.

Last year ACC received claims for more than 11,500 injuries suffered on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Together those claims cost the tax payer more than $8.5 million.

"It makes sense because people are spending more time at home, they have lots of people visiting and there's less routine so there can be more dangers around the home," says Stephanie Melville, a spokeswoman for ACC.

There were 154 Christmas tree related injuries, including someone who was jabbed in the eye with a branch.

Christmas lights and decorations also proved hazardous, contributing to more than 100 incidents.

And the humble holiday ham was another culprit, with carving mishaps resulting in six ACC claims.

"It's just a matter of taking your time and maybe wait until after the food prep is done before having a glass of bubbles and just take a moment to clear the work areas, and clear clutter from under foot," says Ms Melville.

St John says the numbers aren't surprising, and says there will be more staff to deal with extra callouts on Christmas Day and New Years' Eve.

"New Years' Eve in particular, those two hours wither side of midnight, where we would normally see 200 calls, we would see 600, so it really triples across that four-hour period," says The director of clinical operations, Norma Lane.

But while basic safety messages are clear, people are also being urged not to take their Christmas tipple too far.

"It's really about drinking sensibly because when alcohol is on board people do things that they wouldn't normally do that could be a regret they have for the rest of their lives," says Ms Lane.

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