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Taking precautions can help prevent spinal cord injuries

Louisiana residents would probably agree that a spinal cord injury is serious. Approximately 11,000 spinal cord injury accidents occur every year across the United States. While motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries for people aged 65 and younger, falls lead for people aged 65 and older. According to statistics, sports and other recreational activities are responsible for the most spinal cord injuries under 29 years.

Spinal cord injuries may impact a person emotionally and financially. The person may have difficulty with routine tasks. Many people with spinal cord injuries may need long-term medical care and may not be able to work. The disability can create financial difficulties for everyone involved. However, certain precautions may help to prevent a spinal cord injury.

A seat belt is essential while driving a motor vehicle. The seatbelt may mean the difference between life and death in an accident. If the person is under the influence of alcohol and drugs, that person should not operate a vehicle at all. If another person drives a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the passenger should have the good judgment to avoid riding in that vehicle. If the person is either riding a bicycle or a motorcycle, it is important to always wear an approved helmet. It is also important to follow all traffic rules and obey traffic lights, because failure to do so could cause an accident to occur, which can result in spinal cord injuries.

While playing sports, the protective gear worn by participants must have no defects. If the person wishes to swim or dive into a swimming pool, it is important to first check the water to ensure that it is free of debris. It is also important to follow all of the rules and signs near swimming pools or water parks. To prevent a spinal cord injury due to falls in the home, it is important to remove all hazards that may contribute to a fall.

Source: AANS.org, "Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Tips," Accessed on March 12, 2015

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