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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 04:29 GMT
Wood floors spark trouser mishaps
Scooters became the latest craze - prompting more accidents
The craze for wooden floors instead of carpets has led to a surge in accidents, figures suggest.

More than 12,000 people were hurt in falls onto wood in 2002 - a fourfold increase since 1998. Many of these involved slipping while wearing socks.

The fashion for pavement-length flared jeans also seems to carry risks, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)

It says "trouser-related mishaps" have nearly doubled to more than 9,000.

Changing fashions is a recurring theme in the latest RoSPA report on how people in the UK hurt themselves at home and during leisure pursuits.

Accident causes 2002
Microwaves: 2,700
High heels: 8,500
Skateboards: 39,000
Zip flies: 700
It estimates that 2.7 million people needed hospital treatment after accidents at home during 2002, while a further 2.8 million sought medical attention after being hurt while out and about.

While the overall trend is down, the numbers of certain types of accidents - such as those involving wooden floors - has risen sharply.

While carpets appear to be losing popularity they still caused 70,000 falls, up from 55,000 five years earlier.

'Read instructions'

The scooter craze has also taken its toll. In 1998, about 2,200 people, mainly children, came a cropper in incidents involving the two-wheelers - usually the ordinary toy variety.

But in 2002, a total of 19,700 people were injured following the explosion in popularity of trendy adult scooters.

RoSPA is advising manufacturers planning new products to design with safety in mind, and to improve safety information.

But spokesman Roger Vincent added that some accidents could be put down to misuse of products.

"Some people don't listen to the warnings and they think it won't happen to them," he said.

"I would say to consumers that they should read the instructions."

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