Outdoor injuries on rise as Aussies head into summer

With the official start to summer just around the corner, many Australians will be looking forward to spending more time outdoors and socialising with family and friends. However, the warmer months and summer holidays are also associated with an increase in the number of hospital admissions for certain types of injuries.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) today released Injury in Australia 2020–21, which shows there were around 1,600 injury-related hospitalisations every day, a 7% increase from 1,500 a day in 2018–19 prior to COVID. The report examines injuries which required admission to hospital but does not include injuries where a person attended an emergency department without a hospital admission.

‘Over the summer months, we see a peak in certain causes of injury. These include transport-related injuries (3,100 in late January 2021, compared to 2,500 in early June 2021), weather-related injuries (125 hospital admissions in late November 2020, compared to 6 in early July 2020) and drownings and submersion injuries (65 hospitalisations in late January 2021, compared to 9 in early June 2021),’ said AIHW spokesperson Dr. Adrian Webster (PhD).

For people considering undertaking DIY projects during the summer holidays, it is worth noting that during 2020–21 (not just summer) there were 6,600 hospitalisations due to falls on or from ladders and 17,500 due to contact with tools or machinery.

‘Sadly, there is a peak in hospitalisations for assault over the summer months. There were 1,200 assault-related hospital admissions in late December 2020, compared to 770 in late June 2021,’ Dr. Webster said.

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