According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, as many as 450,000 people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Every year, an estimated 11,000 SCIs occur in the United States. Most of these are caused by trauma to the vertebral column, thereby affecting the spinal cord’s ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the body’s systems that control sensory, motor and autonomic function below the level of injury.
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), SCI costs the nation an estimated $9.7 billion each year. Pressure sores alone, a common secondary condition among people with SCI, cost an estimated $1.2 billion.
While there are advances in emergency care and rehabilitation which allow many SCI patients to survive, methods for reducing the extent of injury and for restoring function are still limited. Currently, there is no cure for SCI. Therefore prevention of SCI from happening in the first place is key.
Motor Vehicle Safety Tips
Always wear a safety belt and make sure all passengers are wearing safety belts. All infants, toddlers and young children are properly restrained in an approved child safety seat that is installed correctly in the back seat and all children 12 and younger ride in the back seat, properly restrained.
All children that have outgrown child safety seats are properly restrained in booster seats until they are age 8, or over 4’9″ tall. Obey speed limits and follow rules of the road at all times.
Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol or ride as a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who is under the influence.
Tips to Prevent Falls in the Home
The whole idea is to prevent falls in the first place. So keep the floor clear of debris. Keep the floor clean, but do not apply floor wax. Clean up grease, water and other liquids immediately. Use non-skid throw rugs to reduce your chance of slipping on linoleum.
Install handrails in stairways and grab bars in the bathroom (by toilets and in tub/shower.) Make sure living areas are well lit because it is easy to trip in the dark.
Sports Safety Tips
A lot of injuries can be avoided by applying common sense. Do not dive in water less than 12 feet deep or in above-ground pools. Follow all rules at water parks and swimming pools.
Avoid uneven or unpaved surfaces when cycling or skateboarding.
Football players should receive training and shown proper football blocking and tackling techniques.
Check sports fields, playgrounds and equipment regularly for safety.
Never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don’t want to shoot.
Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it. Keep guns unloaded in a secure location so that children cannot access them.
Store bullets in a separate, secure location so that children cannot access them.
Children education to show that guns are dangerous and that they should never touch them, either at home or in any other environment.