NHS warns against bank holiday DIY, with men far more likely than women to suffer an injury 

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First, health chiefs warned of the perils of Easter eggs – which stood accused of fuelling Britain’s obesity crisis.

Now millions of DIY- enthusiasts are being cautioned to take care before indulging in another bank holiday tradition – the home improvement,

Health officials today urged those tempted to pick up their power tools this weekend to think twice, in case they end up in hospital.

And they warned that men are far more likely than women to end up suffering injruies from powertools, lawnmowers, or toppling off ladders.

Data for England shows there were 4,764 admissions to NHS hospitals in 2017/18 for injuries from drills and other power tools – up 7 per cent on the 4,446 three years earlier.

A further 6,372 admissions were for people ending up in hospital after tumbling from a ladder, while 519 admissions involved an accident with a lawnmower.

Separate figures on patients seen by hospital consultants show that men were far more likely than women to end up suffering such accidents.

In the 12 months to March, there were 7,400 occasions when men needed consultant care after being injured by a lawnmower or tool, compared with fewer than 1,200 women.

Consultants also had to assist men around 5,000 times after they fell from a ladder, compared with 1,260 cases involving women.

Health officials said growing numbers were injuring themselves after being inspired by TV programmes such as DIY SOS, Grand Designs, and 60 Minute Makeover.

The statistics were compiled by NHS Digital.

The four day Easter weekend is one of the busiest for A&E departments, with patients often turning to hospitals if their local GP practice is closed.

Today health officials urged those suffering from a minor injury to consider alternatives to A&E, including urgent treatment centres, and the 111 phone and online service.

Dr Cliff Mann, NHS national clinical adviser for Accident & Emergency (A&E), urged people tempted by DIY to be careful.

He said: “While there are plenty of ways to come a cropper with your DIY, fortunately there are also plenty of places to get help from the NHS this bank holiday.

“Urgent treatment centres can provide convenient access to care for anyone who needs it, while tens of thousands more appointments will be available in GP practices over the long weekend than last Easter, while high street pharmacists can also offer expert help as part of our long-term plan for the NHS.

“If you are unsure where to turn, advice is available online and over the phone from the NHS 111 service.”

Last month, the Royal Society of Public Health urged shops to stop putting Easter eggs so early, saying increasingly aggressive sales tactics were fuelling the obesity crisis.

The organisation found that one in four people at eaten at least one full-sized chocolate egg, almost a month before Easter.

The most common DIY accidents, and how to avoid them

  1. Tumbling from a ladder – 6,372 hospital admissions annually. Experts advise to keep three points of contact – either one hand and two feet or both hands and one foot should be in contact with the ladder at all times. Don’t carry a load which could cause you to lose balance

  2. Injuries from drills and other power tools – 4,800 admissions per year. Wear safety goggles and thick gloves and turn off the drill before changing drill bits, say manufacturers

  3. Mower mishaps – 519 people a year land up in hospital. Wear long trousers, shoes and avoid wet grass, and use an RCD socket adaptor to stop power to the machine in the event of a power surge, Flymo advises



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