How Can You Prevent Spinal Cord Injuries?

A spinal cord injury, depending on where along the spine damage is sustained, can result in partial or total paralysis of different parts of the body. Spinal cord injuries can also be fatal.

The causes of spinal cord injury vary across different age groups. They are more frequent in people aged between 18 and 35 than other age demographic. Furthermore, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of such injuries. The elderly are also a high-risk group for spinal cord injuries, but mostly due to falls.

There is usually no way to ever 100% guarantee your own safety and prevent accidents from happening, but there are certain measures you should take to lower the chances of an accident – and a resultant spinal cord injury – from occurring.

Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries 

Here are a few actionable ways you can prevent spinal cord injuries from happening.

While Driving

  • When driving or riding in a motor vehicle, make sure to wear a seatbelt. Make sure all other passengers are also buckled up before your trip gets underway. This is especially important for children. Child safety restraints should be installed in vehicles in which children ride.

  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Stay focused on the road and avoid distracted driving. Refrain from tending to text messages, adjusting the radio station, eating, or interacting with your vehicle’s GPS while driving.

In the Home

  • Keep your home clean. Slip and fall accidents are frequent in homes so it is important that you keep the floor clear of hazards that might lead to a fall, such as spilled liquids or objects such as chairs or toys.
  • Install handrails on staircases.
  • Clearly mark places that may lead to a fall, such as at places where there is uneven flooring, cracks, or changes in flooring material (where the carpet ends and tile starts, for example).

While Playing Sports

  • Always wear a helmet and sports equipment issued by the sport you are playing. Replace worn or damaged equipment in a timely manner.

  • Never participate in extreme sports without the help of an expert. Sports such as bungee jumping, base jumping, skydiving, and even horseback riding can be very dangerous. If you want to participate in these activities, make sure to have an expert on hand to help you before and during the activity.

In the Playground and Pool

  • Children should be supervised at all times. Children like to climb, and a fall from just a few feet high can lead to spinal cord injury.

  • Inspect playground equipment and make sure that it is intact and damage-free before allowing children to play in, on, or near it.

  • Trampolines, monkey bars, and similar equipment found in playgrounds can be a lot of fun but can also lead to serious injuries. Ensure playground safety by only allowing your children to use such equipment according to their intended uses.

  • Never push anyone into or around a swimming pool. Keep the area surrounding the pool clear of slip and fall hazards and keep the area well lit as well. 

A spinal cord injury can happen at any time, but there is no need to live in constant fear of one happening. Spinal cord injuries can be reduced if we all follow the safety guidelines above, use our common sense, and educate ourselves about preventive measures to avoid such injuries.