Covid: Thousands needed hospital treatment after lockdown DIY

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New NHS figures show that thousands of people injured in household accidents were admitted to English hospitals during Covid-19 lockdowns.

The 2020/21 figures for England were obtained by the PA news agency and found accidents fell in many categories as people spent more time indoors.

But numerous incidents, including eight people over the age of 90 who needed hospital treatment after falling from playground equipment, were recorded.

DIY disasters injured many more.

Data from NHS Digital showed that more than 5,300 people were admitted to hospital after falls from a range of playground attractions such as swings and slides.

While the average age of these adventurers was nine-and-a-half years old, dozens of parents and grandparents were also injured.

Meanwhile, as thousands of people turned their attention to household DIY tasks, more than 5,600 amateur builders required hospital attention after coming into contact with an electric hand tool.

Another 2,700 people sought medical attention after an accident with a non-powered hand tool, such as a hammer or a saw, and 349 were admitted to hospital after tussles with a lawnmower.

Working from home saw everyday household items pose a fresh hazard, with 2,243 people needing attention after coming into contact with hot drinks, food, fats and cooking oils.

And while many people found comfort during lockdowns by adopting pets, 7,386 people were admitted to English hospitals after being bitten or struck by a dog, while 60 others sought assistance after encounters with venomous spiders.

One 90-year-old woman was admitted to hospital after being bitten or struck by a crocodile or alligator.

Despite spending more time at home, the number of people needing assistance after being struck by lightning rose from three cases in 2019/20 to 18 in 2020/21.

The figures are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, representing only those who were admitted to hospital for their injuries. Many more accidents would have been dealt with by A&E doctors and GPs.

A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said the accidents were a reminder of the breadth of accidents that hospitals deal with on a daily basis.

"In among the stranger entries in the database are some worrying trends that serve to highlight the accident challenges that we face," the spokesperson added.

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