With a major report on injury in Ireland to be published tomorrow, a similar report in Britain has produced the surprise finding that socks, vegetables, trousers and even leaves are a cause of serious injury and hospitalisation.
Around 40,000 Irish people are admitted to hospital each year because of accidental injury.
The Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System report released today analysed hospital data to discover the reasons behind accidents in Britain.
It found that over 10,000 people were hospitalised in 1999 as a result of sock-related incidents, while nearly 5,500 ended up in hospital because of accidents caused by their trousers. Over 1,100 people suffered accidents caused by leaves that left them in a hospital bed, while over 750 were admitted to hospital after having an accident with household sponges.
Because of patient confidentiality, the British Department of Trade and Industry, which compiled the report, is not allowed to reveal the nature of the accidents suffered. Therefore it is impossible to know how over 100 people hurt themselves with tea cosies.
"It never ceases to amaze us the weird ways people find to injure themselves in the home", said Roger Vincent of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
"Being injured by a tea cosy might seem light hearted, an almost cartoon-like accident to have a laugh about, but each has resulted in people going to hospital, which in turn puts further strain on the health service".
The information on injury in Ireland will be released tomorrow when the Health Research Board and the Department of Public Health at the Eastern Regional Health Authority launch their report.
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