Friday, July 16, 2010

SCI Summer Safety Checklist

A Reeve Foundation's Paralysis Study concluded that 200,000 Americans are living with paralysis resulting from sporting and recreational activity accidents. Of those 200,000, each year about 6,500 teens end up in the emergency room because of a diving accident. That’s what happened to me fourteen years ago on July 12, 1996. A diving accident at a beach resulted in a spinal cord injury and life as a C6-7 quadriplegic. That is why it is worth passing along the Reeve Foundation Summer Safety Checklist. Along with The Reeve Foundation, I encourage people to review this checklist with their families, especially the teens. Living with a spinal cord injury isn’t fun and can often be a very difficult lifestyle. A significant summer recreational accident that results in SCI can easily be avoided with a little helpful information.

- Buckle up… properly! Bottom strap across hips and shoulder strap across chest.
- Do not be distracted by other passengers, motorists, cell phones, radio, etc. Stay focused!
- Obey car and booster seat guidelines.
Swimming and diving
- Do not dive in less than nine feet of water. - No board, no diving!

Personal watercrafts
- Be watchful, defensive, obey speeds, and keep your distance.
Body boarding
- Hold board so it extends past head.

General Water Safety
- No re-dos; do not combine alcohol and water-related activities!
- Be aware of sandbars.
- Feet-first entry.
Bicycle Riding
- Wear a helmet… properly! A helmet should be worn snug, fitted, and level.
- Replace helmet after three to five years and/or if cracked.

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