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The number of in-home injuries increased during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has found.

The report, Injury in Australia 2019-20, revealed there were more than 3,300 injuries that occurred at home between March and May than the preceding equivalent 2018-19 period, an increase of 8.5%.

Additionally, the biggest monthly discrepancy between 2018-19 and 2019-20 came in May 2020, when there were more than 2,400 cases reported (15,310 for the month) than the equivalent previous period (12,894 in May 2019).

Spokesperson for the AIHW Dr Adrian Webster said that outside of the home environment, COVID-19 had altered the profile of where Australians had injured themselves, at least during the early phase of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 restrictions contributed to a decrease in injury-related hospitalisations in the early months of 2020, with 14% fewer admissions between March and May compared with the previous year. However, as restrictions eased, injury admissions rose and by June 2020 were similar to previous years,” Dr Webster said.

“COVID-19 restrictions also changed the location of where injuries occurred. There were fewer injuries at community locations such as schools, sporting areas and shopping centres.”

Males made up 55% of total injury hospitalisations in 2019-20, accounting for more than 60% injury fatalities, while for both men and women, falls were the main cause of hospitalisation from injury.

“Of the fall-related hospitalisations in 2019–20, furniture was involved in 28% of cases among young children aged 0–4, playing equipment was involved in 26% of cases among older children aged 5–14, and as people aged, slips, trips and stumbles were responsible for a greater proportion of hospitalisations,” Dr Webster said regarding the latter statistic.

The full AIHW report is available to read online.