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Spinal Cord Injury Prevention

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It is estimated that 11,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries (SCI) annually in the United States. Taking preventive steps to avoid such injuries, whether at home, work or play may keep you from becoming a statistic.

Practice Safe Driving Habits

  • Never drink and drive, and don’t be a passenger in a car driven by someone who has done so. The same goes for drugs.
  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Buckle children into child safety seats appropriate to their age and height. Place and face the seat appropriately.
  • Always wear a motorcycle helmet.

Put Safety First When Participating in Sports

  • Always wear the correct protective gear for your activity.
  • Wear a helmet when bicycling, skating, skateboarding, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.
  • Wear a helmet when playing contact sports, such as football and ice hockey, and when batting and running bases in baseball.
  • Never hit, block or tackle with the top of your head/helmet.
  • Don’t slide head first when stealing a base.
  • Replace protective gear that is damaged or too old to provide protection.
  •  When swimming and/or diving:
    • Always check the depth of the water and for debris before diving.
    • Don’t dive in water less than nine feet deep or in above-ground pools.
    • Follow all rules and warning signs at water parks, swimming pools and beaches.
    • Never push anyone into the water.
    • The first time you go into a body of water, walk into it.

Avoid Slips and Falls

  • Use non-skid contrasting tape, rubber stair treads or coated, skid-resistant surface treatment on non-carpeted stairs. Apply strips of tape to dry, clean surfaces at one-inch intervals. Three strips of tape provide good traction on a typical step.
  • Make sure carpeting is firmly attached along stairs.
  • Stairways should have handrails—use them.
  • Provide adequate lighting, especially on stairs for people with poor vision or who have difficulty walking.
  • Do not place obstacles in walking pathways.
  • Use sturdy step stools—preferably with handrails.
  • Put non-slip mats in bathrooms and tubs/showers.
  • Wear non-slip shoes in areas that may be slippery or on floors that are heavily waxed.
  • Clean spills immediately.

Firearm Usage

  • Because firearms are one of the leading causes, of SCI, keep your weapon in a locked cabinet, and store ammunition in a secured area.

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