Spring Ahead, Safely!

Daylight Saving Time is a welcome sign that spring is arriving, but it is also the start of “trauma season” according to many emergency room physicians.  The extra hours of daylight allows us to spend more time outdoors after being cooped up during the cold, dark winter months, especially in the North East region. Bicycles, ATVs, and motorcycles reappear on the roads and trails and unfortunately as the number of people riding them increases, so does the occurrence of injuries. As the weather warms up, trampolines become more popular, people are attracted to beaches and swimming pools, and emergency rooms see an increase in the amount of traumatic injuries related to outdoor activities. Police departments also notice an increase in violent behavior during the spring and summer, leading to an increase in stabbing injuries and gunshot wounds as the temperatures rise. Spinal cord injuries can be the result of injuries occurring during this “trauma season” as many spinal cord injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents, recreational/sporting accidents, falls, and violence. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the majority of spinal cord injuries are due to preventable causes.  Being aware of the risks associated with different activities and taking proper precautions can decrease the incidence of injury. Staying inside and avoiding any activity that has the potential of causing an injury is not an option!! Education about safety and prevention is the key to avoiding injury. Knowing the risks involved in biking, riding motorcycles and ATVs, performing tricks on a trampoline, diving, climbing ladders and climbing trees and in participating in other recreational activities is the first step in becoming less likely to suffer a traumatic injury. Enjoy the warm weather, stay active, stay aware, and stay safe!