Lockdown activities led to spike in hospitalizations
There was a spike in hospital admissions in England in 2020-21 for injuries suffered by individuals taking up new hobbies, as people were forced to remain at home due to Covid-19 lockdowns, according to data from NHS Digital.
DIY, gardening, pet-related injuries, and incidents in playgrounds all contributed to the increased demand for hospital treatment, as the rising popularity of activities sometimes resulted in undesirable consequences.
NHS Digital’s 2020-21 data found more than 5,600 people needed treatment after an incident with a powered hand tool. Over 2,700 went to the hospital after accidents with other tools, such as hammers or saws. More than 5,300 people were injured in playground incidents, while 962 were hurt after falling from trees.
Lockdowns resulted in a pet boom, with over 3 million households in the UK buying a pet since the start of the pandemic. However, they also left people needing medical treatment, as 7,386 people went to hospital in England after being bitten or struck by a dog, 60 were treated for injuries from venomous spiders, and 47 were bitten by rats.
Hot drinks, food, fats, and oils left 2,243 people needing medical attention after suffering cooking-related injuries. Even sunbathing during the sunny weather in the first lockdown caused some issues, leaving 153 in hospital with sunburn.
The data gathered by NHS Digital only covers individuals who were admitted to hospital, with the medical service dealing with more injuries in emergency departments and local doctors' surgeries.
While lockdown activities left thousands of people in England injured, the number of accidents and injuries was lower than in previous years, as people stayed at home.
“In among the stranger entries in the database are some worrying trends that serve to highlight the accident challenges that we face. Accidents are preventable,” the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said.