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Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries When Headed To The Beach

As the end of summer draws near, many people will try to hit the pools and other bodies of water as often as they can while they have time and the weather to do so.  And as more people head out on the water, spinal cord injury prevention becomes more important.  Many impact injury risks await swimmers, and in order to prevent such damage, officials with the New Jersey-based AtlantiCare have released a series of important safety tips with specific attention paid to beaches.

First, one should swim in an area that’s being watched over by lifeguards.  That way, if some sort of neck or spinal cord injury does occur, that person will be in the vicinity of someone who should know how to keep the head immobile and safely bring the victim to shore.

The bigger the waves, the bigger the danger.  One trauma surgeon with the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center points out that body surfing actually leads to more traumatic injuries than any other beach activities.  The truth is, all it takes is for one particularly large wave to catch a person off-guard and slam them into the seafloor.  When this happens, a person is susceptible to neck damage, concussions, and all ensuing longterm threats carried by those situations.

You need to be careful whenever waves enter the equation, and that could mean avoiding the water if a report says that the surf is churned up.  When you do enter the water, use particular caution at the point where the waves begin to break in a shallow area.  If you’re surfing these waves in any manner, you’ll want to go in at an angle and only stick to those waves that are within your abilities.

If, however, you’re going to the beach but don’t plan on surfing and just want to trot into the water, certain precautions should still be necessary.  When moving into a wave, make sure to take a diving-type stance, positioning your arms above you and then thrusting yourself into the wave.  This leaves you less susceptible to being flung like a ragdoll by the wave and protects your head should you strike the seafloor.  You’ll want to be especially cautious near uneven areas whose depths you can’t judge.  Stay clear of any large landmasses or rocks that might crop up near the shore.

Finally, use common sense when it comes to the beach.  Never dive directly into the water, as it’s more often than not going to be too shallow to do so safely.  The same goes for pools whose depths you can’t gauge.  Stay clear of nighttime swimming, as your judgment gets impaired further, and limit alcohol intake for the same reason.


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