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Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries

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Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries

Between 250,000 and 450,000 people live with spinal cord injury in the United States. According to the National Injury Prevention Foundation, there are approximately 12,500 new spinal cord injuries per year.  Not surprisingly, alcohol is a contributing factor in about 1 out of every 4 spinal cord injuries.  The good news is, the majority of spinal cord injuries are preventable.

Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries

53 percent of spinal cord injuries occur in persons ages 16 to 30.  The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are as follows:Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Gunshots

Among males, diving accidents and motorcycles accidents rank fourth and fifth.  Among women, medical and surgical complications ranked the number four reason for spinal cord injuries, with diving accidents ranking number five.  The American Association of Neurological Surgeons offers the following suggestions for preventing spinal cord injuries.

Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries from Car Accidents

Experts recommend the following precautions to avoid spinal cord injuries from car accidents:

  • Always make sure all occupants of the car wear seat belts
  • Infants, toddlers, and young children should be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat installed pursuant to manufacturer’s instructions (this includes understanding the difference between forward facing and rear facing car seat installation)
  • Children 12 and under should not ride in the front seat
  • Obey the speed limit
  • Obey the rules of the road
  • When conditions are dangerous, drive with extra care – including driving below the posted speed limit
  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Do not ride in a car with a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Preventing Falls in the Home

Because falls are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries, a recognition of the dangers of falling at home is in order.  To prevent falls that could lead to spinal cord injuries, homeowners should review their environment with the following in mind:

  • Be mindful of medication side effects, as medications which cause dizziness or weakness can contribute to falls
  • Ensure good lighting in frequently traveled areas, as tripping is more likely in the dark
  • Install and use handrails on stairs
  • Keep floors clean and clear of spills
  • Do not use floor wax
  • Clear cords from walkways
  • Keep floors clear of debris and clutter
  • When reaching for objects on a high shelf, use a sturdy step stool

Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries by Implementing Firearm Safety

While many may argue firearm safety is just common sense, given firearm accidents are the third leading cause of spinal cord injuries, a few words about firearm safety are in order.

  • Do not point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot
  • Do not put your finger on the trigger unless or until youare prepared to shoot something
  • Guns should not be loaded unless or until you are ready to shoot at something
  • Keep guns away from children, in a secure location with a lock
  • Keep bullets away from children, in a different location with a different lock
  • Teach children guns are dangerous and should never be handled without adult supervision
  • Teach children never to touch a found gun, and to alert an adult if they find a gun, at home, at a friend’s house, or in public
  • Have a conversation (or several) with your teenagers about methods of problem solving that do not include violence or the threat of violence

If You or a Loved One Has Been Injured

If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury, contact the spinal cord injury attorneys at Rosner Law Offices, P.C.  Our attorneys have the skills necessary to tackle your case, while you focus your time and attention on getting well.  Contact us at 856-692-6500.

Additional Reading

The Hidden Truth about Spinal Cord Injuries in Athletes

Mission Possible: How Spinal Cord Treatment Breakthroughs Could Help Victims Walk Again


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