Risk by the Numbers
The type of recreational activities, age, gender and other factors are part of understanding how much risk we are exposed to. For example: snowboarding causes 20 injuries out of every 100,000 people while fishing causes only 4 injuries in 100,000. Men are involved in 68% of all injuries. 15-24 year old people make up 33% of all injuries by age with children to age 14 being second at 25%. Injuries to the head and neck are 23% of all injuries from recreational activities.
Even being a couch potato has risks as the likelihood of health related deaths increases from inactivity. Certain “bad habits” increase our risks. A 55-year old man who smokes is as likely to die over the next ten years of his life as a 65-year old man who has never smoked. And, motor vehicle accidents remain a high risk factor. A 35-year old woman is as likely to die in an accident in the next 10 years of her life as she is to die from breast cancer.
As we are enjoying the summer months it is important to keep safety in mind to reduce those risk factors which we can affect. For example: wear a helmet when bicycling and motorcycling. Don’t drink (or use other substances) and drive, or water-ski, or jet ski. Brain injuries are most common in males between 18 and 24, a group who are known to be “risk takers”. Another group who recently have come to our attention are 50+ year old males who have brain injuries from motorcycle accidents.
There are many positive things you can do to not become a statistic. Most of them involve using your brain to identify and reduce risks. Think first!