Four young adults may be in danger of a spinal cord injury as they ump off dock into lake during summer 682x408


Be safe in all seasons and prevent a spinal cord injury

  • Most spinal cord injuries are due to preventable causes – vehicle crashes, falls or violence.
  • The average age for spinal cord injury is 43, and 78% of new SCI cases are male.

Summer is full of opportunities for fun and staying active. Not just during summer, but all year long, it’s important to keep safety in mind to prevent a spinal cord injury (SCI).

Main causes of spinal cord injury

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injury, closely followed by falls. Acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds), and sports and recreation activities are also common causes. The average age a person has a spinal cord injury is 43; more than three quarters of new SCI cases happen to men.

General spinal cord injury safety in all seasons

  • Avoid drinking alcohol prior to driving
  • Always wear a safety belt when riding or driving in a vehicle.
  • All children 12 and under should ride in a vehicle with proper back seat restraints for their age.
  • When riding a motorcycle always wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet. (Check inside helmet for the DOT label).
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Wear proper safety gear for the sport you’re participating in and check weather and safety reports.
  • For older adults: Be physically active, have a provider or pharmacist regularly review any medications you take, and participate in a fall prevention program.

Safety tips to avoid a SCI during summer

  • Always check the depth of water before diving, especially at the lake.
  • Never dive into a pool that is shallower than 9 feet, and deeper is better. Never dive into an above-ground pool.

Safety tips to prevent a SCI during autumn

  • Before hunting, check your equipment. Making sure your tree stand is installed and built safely before you climb.
  • Wear your safety harness at all times when climbing, hunting and descending. Choose a quick-release harness that will hold you right-side-up and not restrict your breathing should you fall.
  • If you own firearms, always keep them unloaded and locked. Lock and store bullets in a separate location.

 Safety tips to prevent a SCI during winter

  • Walk on designated paths
  • Wear correct footwear and walk with your knees slightly bent, your center of gravity over your front leg, walk flat footed, extend your arms, and walk slowly.
  • Do not take big steps, shortcuts, walk with your hands in your pockets, or walk too fast.
  • Check weather/safety reports especially if you plan to snowmobile or ice fish.




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