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Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are quite common and can be caused by car accidents, diving into shallow water, slip and fall accidents, and other incidents. Many health professionals consider spinal cord injuries to be among the most traumatic injuries possible, because such injuries permanently affect a person’s mobility, relationships, work situation, and emotions. About 10 000- 20 000 Americans sustain spinal cord injuries each year, and in many cases these injuries can be preventable.
According to the Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Spinal Cord Injury Center, there are many ways to prevent spinal cord injuries:

1) Practice good water safety. Test water levels before diving into a body of water. Water should be between nine and twelve feet deep to be considered safe. Proper diving form means arms in front. Avoid swimming alone or while intoxicated.

2) Use safety restrains in cars. Car accidents are a common cause of spinal cord injuries, and many of there are preventable with the proper use of seatbelts, since the majority of injuries in car accidents occur when passengers of a vehicle are thrown about or ejected from the car during a crash. Adults should always wear seatbelts in moving vehicles and younger children should be secured in child safety seats in the rear seat of the car.

3) Wear the correct safety equipment for sports. Many spinal cord injuries are sports-related injuries. Many can be avoided by using caution when playing sports and by using correct equipment – such as helmets – when playing contact sports such as football. Safety equipment for sports should be worn according to manufacturer directions and should be checked frequently for signs of wear. Outdated gear, gear that does not fit correctly and gear that has been damaged in any way should be replaced immediately.

4) Use common sense to avoid falls. If you do need to climb somewhere, use good shoes and have someone hold a sturdy ladder as you climb. Where possible, leave household jobs involving climbing up onto the roof to professionals. Professionals know how to clean gutters, fix drainpipes and conduct other projects safely.

5) Prevent weapons accidents. Violence and injuries involving weapons such as guns cause many spinal cord injuries each year. A bullet from a gun can create considerable spinal cord damage, leading to paralysis. Taking part in gun education programs and ensuring that any guns in your home are stored safely and securely can help prevent accidents.

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