Monday, March 19, 2012

Injury prevention

I took some Sunday afternoon exercise with the young bride yesterday, in the form of a long walk into the countryside. But as we left the edge of the village where we are staying, a car shot past us on the wrong side of the road and nearly "took out" a driver peacefully driving in the opposite direction! There was much tooting of horns, and thankfully, no accident happened and no one was injured.

But injuries do happen, and far more frequently than we think, and I'm not just talking road traffic accidents, there are falls in the home and physical violence too. Here's some information from the CDC in the US:

  •     1 person dies every 3 minutes in the US as the direct cause of injuries received
  •     Injuries are the leading cause of death from age1 to 44.
  •     Injuries cost $406 Billion in medical costs and lost productivity!

That's a huge impact on our societies and we need to constantly review how we can reduce such injuries and promote injury reduction awareness. Simple things like wearing car seat belts, that the vast majority now take for granted have saved 100's of thousands of lives around the globe and reduced the injury toll more the same amount too: and yet people still "forget" to wear them, so the message needs to be constantly re-cycled.

In the elderly, by encouraging the older age group to be physically active and take part in programs such as Ti Chi has also been shown to reduce falls and injuries that the elderly often are much slower to recover from.

In the home, falls down stairs account for a significant percentage of emergency department care and even death. In many of those instances it was when someone was carrying a child down the stairs but tripped on "stuff" that had been left on them. The moral to that tale is that the home is not only a constant "battleground" with little ones, but there can be serious injuries taking place there too. Keep your stairs clear at all times, check the back yard for obvious danger points and with older kids look for signs of bullying that, if unchecked, may lead to physical violence and injury.

Being aware that things can go wrong should make us wiser, not better worriers: life is a wonderful challenge and our job is always to keep trying to do "it" better!
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As my gran often said, "the best way to avoid falling is to sit down".