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Sports-Related Spinal Cord Injuries

Compiled by Injury Prevention Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health

Of the 1,152 cases of traumatic spinal cord injury reported from 1988 to 1994 in Oklahoma, 142 (12%) were the result of sports-related incidents; 11 fatalities resulted. Although rates for spinal cord injury stemming from participation in sporting activities suggest that these injuries are rare events, analysis of the data and prevention recommendations are essential as the outcomes of such injuries are serious.

Eighty-seven percent (124/142) of sports-related spinal cord injury cases occurred among males (Figure 1).The most common activities contributing to sports-related spinal cord injuries were diving (37%), football (16%), horseback riding (11%), operation of a recreational vehicle (7%), bicycling (7%), and wrestling (6%).Other sports activities, which were infrequently related to spinal cord injuries, included rodeo, sledding, water/snow skiing, rappelling, soccer, swimming, boxing, and jumping on a trampoline. [JumpSport Note: trampoline is listed last because it ranks so low among these activities.]Alcohol was involved in 52% of the cases among males.

CPSC Press Release…Pool Drownings (excerpts)Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) Urges Pool Owners to Take Precautions to Prevent Drownings More than 375 children under 5 years old drown in pools each year nationwide -- most in residential pools. "The keys to preventing these tragedies are placing barriers around your pool, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. Physical barriers, fences or walls, designed to limit access to pools provide an important layer of security. CPSC offers a free publication: "Safety Barrier Guidelines for Pools." Some localities have incorporated the CPSC guidelines into their building codes and regulations. (JumpSport Note: Safety enclosures should be required for trampolines.)

Visit www.cpsc.gov, under "Library."