ED-treated outdoor recreationists ususally are 10 to 24 years old, and mostly likely were hurt snowboarding, sledding, or hiking, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. EDs treated almost 213,000 of these injuries from 2004 to 2005, the CDC reported in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. Fractures were most common at 27.4%, followed by sprains at 23.9%. More than half of injuries were to an arm or leg; about a quarter involved the neck or head.
Addressing wilderness injury prevention, including use of helmets, authors urged outdoor enthusiasts to plan, prepare, and anticipate problems. They recommended:
Maintaining fitness, knowing skill levels and experience, and not exceeding limits
Checking, maintaining, and replacing equipment, if needed
Carrying a first-aid kit and, when warranted, a two-way communication device
Alerting others to where they are going
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