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Laura Mackie
Laura Mackie
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Buckle Up for Safety

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According to an article published in a recent issue of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, there are a total of nearly 1,500 spinal cord injuries sustained by children (ages 18 and younger) every year. Of those 1,500 injuries, approximately 70% are a result of a motor vehicle accident. Among those children in that 70%, 68% of the time the victims were NOT wearing a seatbelt.

Additional statistics cited by the authors of the article included: Boys are more than twice (2.79) more likely to experience Spinal Cord Injuries than girls; African-Americans are at greater risk than whites (1.53); Hispanics and especially Asians are at lower risk than whites (0.87 and 0.36, respectively).

Other common causes of pediatric Spinal Cord Injuries include: accidental fall (14 percent), firearm injury (9 percent) sports injury (7 percent). And not so surprisingly, alcohol and drugs were involved in 30 percent of all cases.

The article was based on a study of high risk populations by the chief of Pediatric Spine Service at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Dr. Michael G. Vitale. The study aimed to improve the prevention and treatment of spinal cord injuries. Considering the statistics gathered during the study, one could assuredly say that the best prevention would be to ALWAYS “Buckle up”.