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How to Prevent the Most Common Injuries

From Syndi Bultman, Lee Health’s Injury Prevention/Resource Coordinator of Trauma Services & Julie Noble, the Safe Kids SWFL Coordinator at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

From time to time, we all accidentally get the typical bump or bruise. Children are especially prone to these as they learn how to navigate the world. But sometimes, these unintentional injuries can be serious and pose a real threat. Suffocation, drowning, motor vehicle crashes and other preventable injuries are a leading cause of disability and death for children ages one to 18.

On Nov. 18, the Lee County Trauma District and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida teamed up with Safe States and Safe Kids to promote injury prevention awareness and bring recognition to National Injury Prevention Day.

We want to remind the community about some of the best ways to prevent some of the most common injuries.

Preventing Falls

We’ve all accidentally fallen before. Most of the time, we get right back up, but it can become a problem if we’ve broken a bone or caused a serious injury. The risk for this only increases as we get older and even small changes to our hearing and vision can create an increased risk for falling.

Many things can cause us to accidentally fall. It could be from poor hearing or eyesight, which is why it’s important to get these assessed on a regular basis. Or it could be due to your reflexes not being as strong as they used to be. Working out for 30 minutes at least a few times a week can help keep your mind and body sharp. Regular exercise helps keep your joints, ligaments and tendons flexible and helps makes your body stronger.

Stay aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re walking on wet surfaces and walking around places you’re not familiar with. This also applies if you’re doing things like picking up debris from the hurricane, packing stuff in your home, stripping drywall, lifting furniture and lifting heavy objects. Don’t strain your body and do more than it can handle. Ask for help if you need it.

Avoiding Being Injured While Driving

We can’t always control what happens on the road, but there are some things we can do to make sure we’re as protected as possible from being injured while driving. Look for a vehicle with high safety ratings, don’t use your cell phone while driving, make sure you know what to do in poor weather conditions, don’t drive fast and recklessly, limit driving at night when vision is limited, limit passengers if you can (the risk of a crash increases with each passenger) and always wear a seatbelt.

Preventing Sports Injuries

In the United States, about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports and more than 3.5 million have injuries each year. The easiest thing players can do is make sure they’re wearing the right gear and not straining their body to try and fit into something too big or too small. Listen to your body and allow it to recover when it needs to by taking breaks and days or weeks (or more) off. Make sure you do conditioning exercises to help strengthen the muscles you’re using during play. Don’t play through pain and play safe.

It’s also important to stay hydrated during and after playing or exercising, especially if you’re outside.

You can always visit Lee Health’s website, to learn more about these safety topics and others.