Injuries are one of the leading causes of visits to the emergency room for all age groups. Yet, many injuries are predictable and preventable. It is always good to avoid injury, but right now it is especially important. Injuries can require hospital stays, ambulance service and can increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for yourself and others.
Despite British Columbia’s current restrictions to keep people safe from the virus, injuries still happen. These include injuries related to falls (especially among seniors), transportation, workplaces, physical activity, drowning, asphyxia, poisoning, burns, heat, electricity, violence, self-harm and suicide.
Current restrictions due to the pandemic can increase stress and isolation. Stress and isolation may be contributing factors to injury. For some, this can lead to an increase in the use of alcohol or other drugs, or a worsening of mental health symptoms. Domestic conflicts have also increased. Post-traumatic stress disorder has emerged for essential services workers. These and other factors can lead to an increase in suicide, self-harm and types of violence.
Things You Can Do to Prevent Injury
Getting enough sleep will help you stay rested and alert. It is also important to pay attention to your mental health and overall wellness. There are many precautions you can take to reduce your chance of getting injured.
Keep medications and poisonous substances locked up. To learn more, see:
Learn about water safety to prevent swimming-related injury or drowning. For prevention tips and more, see:
- BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit: Drowning
- Child Safety: Preventing Drowning
- Safety Tips for Swimmers (HealthLinkBC File #39)
Take steps to reduce your likelihood of a fall by staying active and maintaining your strength and balance. To learn more see:
- Child Safety: Preventing Falls
- Preventing Falls in Older Adults
- Seniors' Falls Can Be Prevented (HealthLinkBC File 78)
Take precautions when driving, cycling or walking. Pedestrians and cyclists remain extremely vulnerable despite the recent downturn in traffic. To prevent injuries on the road:
- Drive at or below the speed limit
- Be aware of the roadway environment around you when maintaining physical distance
- Look in all directions when you cross the road and check all lanes of traffic
- Wear a helmet when cycling and ensure that it fits snugly. There should be no more than two fingers’ width between your chin and the strap. To learn more about bike safety visit: The BC Cycling Coalition
To learn more about injury prevention, visit the following sources:
- Disease and Injury Prevention Resources
- BC Drug and Poison Information Centre
- BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit: Adjusting to a new pace of life during the COVID-19 situation
- Parachute Canada
Last updated: May 20, 2020