Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries
Author / Coordinator:
The following tips, based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Spinal Cord Injury Information Network, may reduce the risk of spinal cord injury:
- Wear a seat belt every time you drive a car or ride in one. Make sure your children are buckled into a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (as appropriate for their age). Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of SCI.
- Keep firearms and ammunition locked in a cabinet or safe when not in use. The second leading cause of SCI is violence, most often related to firearms use.
- Prevent falls–the third leading cause of SCI–by
- using a step stool with a grab bar to reach objects on high shelves;
- installing handrails on stairways;
- installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of windows;
- using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
- Play sports safely. For example:
- Wear all required safety gear.
- Never engage in head-first moves, such as spearing (in football, using the helmet to tackle) or sliding head-first into a base.
- Avoid hitting the boards with your head in ice hockey.
- Insist on spotters when performing new or difficult moves in gymnastics.