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The most inconvenient time to experience an injury is while away from home, but that’s when they often occur. The dangers are not limited to serious car wrecks on highways and interstates. They also include sports accidents, trips, slips, falls, and other mishaps. Traveling is a great way to unwind and bond with friends and family, so it’s important to be aware of the dangers you face while on the road. The following ten common injuries are some of the ones people are most likely to sustain while away from home. Being aware of the dangers can make it easier to know what precautions to take to ensure your safety, and increase your odds of staying safe while traveling.

Back injuries
Back injuries can happen as a result of car accidents, trips, slips, and falls. The most serious back injuries involve damage to the spinal cord and can sometimes lead to partial or complete paralysis. Although many back injuries occur at home, a large percentage of them happen while away from home. Prevention strategies can be difficult with this type of injury, but one way to prevent a back injury is to always lift objects by squatting to pick them up.

Sprains

Trips and slips often lead to sprains. Travelers are often not aware of the tripping hazards of a new location, and sprains can result in addition to other injuries. It is important to take sprains seriously because they can lead to further damage if ignored. Sprains are also commonly caused by recreational activities like running, hiking, and golfing. There are a few ways to prevent sprains: wear shoes that fit properly and provide ankle support, perform exercises that strengthen the surrounding muscles, and use ankle braces or wraps for additional support.

Head Injuries
Many car accidents cause head injuries. Various sporting activities can also lead to a concussion. This is a serious type of injury that involves bruising of the brain. Sledding, skiing, bicycling, football, and cheerleading are all associated with high rates of these types of injuries. It is important to treat head injuries right away, as concussions can, in some cases, lead to permanent brain damage. During any type of sporting activity, always wear the proper headgear. Make sure it fits well to ensure its effectiveness. To reduce the chances of experiencing a concussion, follow all safety precautions that are advised for any particular sport or activity.

Eye Injuries
Eye injuries can be sustained while engaging in many different types of activities. Scratches can occur when any sharp object scrapes the eye. Puncture wounds can result when small objects are flung into the eye. Shards of metal and fishing hooks are some of the most common culprits that cause serious eye injuries. Chemical burns are another common cause. Chemical burns can occur when any type of caustic chemical gets into the eye. They don’t always cause immediate pain, so be sure to check the label of any chemical product that gets into the eye or call a poison control center immediately, regardless of whether any serious pain is involved.

Neck Injuries
As with head injuries, car accidents often cause trauma to the neck. Whiplash is a common complaint after a car wreck. Neck injuries are also associated with various types of recreational activities and work-related tasks. Because the neck is directly connected to the spinal cord, it is important to have any serious injury related to the neck or spine evaluated immediately. Signs that indicate a serious neck injury include numbness, tingling sensations, loss of feeling or movement, loss of muscle control, bowel control, or bladder control.

Knee Injuries
Knee injuries can arise due to many different things, some of which may go unnoticed until later. Ligament injuries, cartilage injuries, tendinitis, bursitis, and dislocated kneecaps are just a few of the things that can go wrong with the knee area. If the knee feels extremely painful, looks deformed, locks up, or if it becomes difficult to walk, there has likely been a serious injury. Because a damaged knee can make walking difficult, be sure to have any knee injuries evaluated right away.

Hand and Wrist Injuries
Hand and wrist injuries are commonly sustained while away from home. Dislocated finger joints, severe sprains and muscle strains, broken bones, inflamed tendons, and ligament tears are common hand and wrist injuries that are associated with both sports activities and car accidents. Other injuries related to the hands and wrists can be work-related. Good ergonomics can help prevent these non-acute injuries, but often there is no way to prevent the acute injuries associated with sports.

Chest Injuries
Chest injuries are common during even low-impact car crashes. The body can be propelled forward into the steering wheel. A seat belt can also cause chest injuries when the body lunges forward on impact. Studies have shown that two-thirds of car accidents result in some type of chest injury and almost half of those are severe. Chest injuries are dangerous because of the close proximity to the lungs.

Hip Fractures
People of all ages commonly get a fractured hip from a car wreck. In older adults, any type of fall can cause a hip fracture. For people with weak bones, a hip fracture can result from twisting the leg too far. Some types of hip fractures can be prevented by doing weight-bearing exercises and receiving proper nutrition. Hip fractures can cause serious complications associated with being bedridden, including blood clots, bedsores, and pneumonia.

Burns
Burns happen all too frequently from fireworks, campfires, and other outdoors accidents. Fireworks commonly cause burns to the hands and fingers while trying to light the fuse. In many cases, the fireworks ignite faster than they can be thrown. The person holding the firework is the most likely person to sustain a burn injury this way. Surgery is sometimes required to remove debris that has been burned into the skin. Sparklers and bottle rockets are also common causes of burns to the hands, legs, and face.

Accidents and injuries can occur anywhere. Unfortunately, they often happen while people are on vacation or engaging in recreational activities. Having an injury evaluated immediately after it occurs is important. These common injuries happen to people every day, so be aware of the dangers. Stay safe while traveling, taking the proper precautions to reduce the risk of experiencing one of these all too common injuries.

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