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How to Prevent Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries: What You Need to Know

Posted in Blog on August 31, 2019

Brain and spinal cord injuries can be some of the most severe traumas that a person can experience. In the worst cases, some brain and spinal cord injuries, especially those to the cervical spine, have resulted in paralysis and death.  Injuries to these sensitive areas typically occur most frequently as a result of car accidents amongst those aged 18-30, and second-most often to the elderly, as they are at higher risk of falling and injuring themselves. Though many injuries to the spinal cord and brain are later determined as having been unavoidable, there are many measures you can take to protect yourself against this kind of trauma. After all, injury prevention is the most effective way of protecting yourself from serious, dangerous injuries. So what are some preventative steps that can be taken?

  • Wear a seatbelt: Always wear your seatbelt, whether you’re driving or riding in a car, no matter where you’re sitting. Though seat belt laws vary from state to state, it has been proven that seatbelts significantly reduce the likelihood of serious injury from car accidents. 
  • Don’t drive under the influence: Never operate a vehicle of any kind if you have been taking any drugs or drinking alcohol, and never ride with someone who is under the influence. 
  • Avoid distractions: Pay close attention to the road while you’re driving, and if you’re a passenger, do not distract the driver. Texts, calls, and music selections can all wait for when you’re off the road. 
  • Keep the rooms in your home organized: Clear and clean your floors, and keep items that could lead to a fall in their right places. Slip and falls are more likely if your floors are crowded, especially for elderly folks. Additionally, if you have many steps in your house, or if some areas are slightly less accessible than others, consider installing safety handrails where needed. Also, keep areas well-lit so that any obstacles are visible.
  • Seek medical attention for the injured: If you see someone who may have sustained a brain or spinal cord injury, do not attempt to move them. Call emergency services and let the first responders handle the injured person. If someone is injured in your presence, call 911, keep the area around them clear, and try to keep them calm and responsive if possible.
  • Obey traffic signs: No matter what type of vehicle you’re operating, always obey the traffic signs, and never wear headphones. 
  • Wear safety equipment: If you’re operating a vehicle, machinery, or playing sports that involve using a helmet or other kinds of safety equipment, always wear them and ensure they are in good shape. 
  • Use extreme caution in certain sports: Activities such as horseback riding, skiing, sky-diving, bungee and base jumping are hazardous. If you choose to participate in these sports, understand the risks and take all necessary precautions.
  • Supervise children: Children can get into some serious trouble when they are not looked after. Inspect playground equipment, watch them while they’re playing, be careful if they are on a trampoline, and always monitor them if you are at a swimming pool. Keep the area surrounding a pool clear and dry, don’t dive into shallow water, and don’t ever push or allow someone to be pushed into a pool. 

Though it is sometimes impossible to altogether avoid brain and spinal cord injuries, the measures above make them less likely and can keep you safe. As long as you are aware of your surroundings while participating in activities that could lead to an injury, you’re saving yourself and keeping those around you safe. If you or a loved one has been injured and feel that another party is responsible, the brain and spinal cord injury team at Zaner Harden Law can help guide you in your claim process.

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