AAOS Tips for Preventing Summer Injuries
As summer arrives, it is inevitable that we come out of our winter hibernation and become more active. Regrettably though, with more activity comes the increased chance of orthopedic injuries. In hospitals the summer season is also known as “trauma season” because adult injuries spike by 25-30%. Although not all of these injuries are orthopedic, the vast majority of these injuries fall into this category.
The most common types of summer orthopedic injuries come from: biking accidents, lawn mower mishaps, ladder incidents, swimming injuries, ATV calamities, trampoline trauma, and funky falls. Luckily, AAOS has created a vast amount of resource information for orthopedic surgeons to provide to their patients, including public service announcements and safe walking and driving advice.
AAOS Public Service Announcements
This summer season, the AAOS decided to focus their public service announcements on ladder and bike safety. These injury-prevention efforts were taken so seriously that a ladder safety ad was created in conjunction with the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, whereas the bike ad was created with the help of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. In addition to these two ads, the AAOS also created postcards, posters, and downloadable images for some of their 2015 PSAs relating to swimming and motorcycle accidents. To access these additional PSAs visit OrthoInfo.org/divingsafety and OrthoInfo.org/cyclesafety.
Ladder safety is something that we all take for granted. Thus, AAOS felt it necessary to post a PSA on the matter. The ladder announcement advises that if injury is to be prevented, ladder safety should be learned BEFORE climbing the ladder. The ad tells people: that “Climbing a ladder might be the most dangerous thing [they] do all year,” due to the high risk of foot and ankle fractures. To avoid injury, the ad advises people to:
- Make sure they have the balance and strength to use a ladder.
- Take the time to secure it properly.
- Not to stand above the marked level.
- Always wear lace-up shoes or boots.
Additional precautions can be found at OrthoInfo.org/LadderSafety
Bike safety is something that every parent tries to instill in their child, but sometimes the lessons don’t take hold. To pack a punch, the bike safety PTA depicts a bicycle made out of bones. The graphic points out just how fragile bike riders are in comparison to cars. The goal of the ad is to show how vulnerable to injury bikers can be. To highlight this fact the ad says: “So, even when a rider does something boneheaded, remember – your broken headlight is easier to fix than their broken bones. Take the high road and give bicyclist the space they need to ride safely.” The tips provided in the PTA are great tools for parents to use when teaching their kids about bike safety AND for the average adult biker and driver! For more information on bike safety, visit OrthoInfo.org/BikeSafety.
Distracted walking and driving
This summer, the AAOS saw fit to emphasize walking and driving safety. In 2009, AAOS launched the “Decide to Drive” campaign, which educates people about the danger of distracted driving. Decidetodrive.org gives all the statistics, videos, downloads, contests, and ideas for social media posts related to distracted driving that anybody could ever need. All of the tips provided on the page are extremely useful when providing patients with information on the orthopedic injuries that can occur as a result of distracted driving. So, be a responsible driver and check out all the tips “Decide to Drive” can offer you.
Due to the digital craze, people nowadays can be seen walking and texting with no regard for what dangers may lie outside of the telephone screen. Thus, the AAOS recently extended its injury-prevention efforts to include “Digital Deadwalkers.” This campaign includes radio and television PSAs that humorously highlight the dangers of pedestrians focusing on anything or anyone other than the task of walking to their destination safely. Be an informed citizen and check out the funny videos this campaign has to offer at
OrthoInfo.org/DistractedPedestrians. Who knows, you could be the “Digital Deadwalker” everybody is trying to avoid.
Although AAOS has chosen to highlight ladder and bike safety along with distracted driving and walking, there are plenty of other summer dangers that may result in a visit to an orthopedic doctor. Check out AAOS’ “Prevent Injuries America” website for more articles and videos to help you prevent summer injuries. Newsroom.aaos.org/patient-resources/prevent-injuries-america/
If you are interested in accessing the PSAs in this article, visit aaos.org/PSA.
Hilibrand, Alan S. “Preventing Common Summer Injuries.” AAOS. AAOS, May 2016.
Toland, Bill. “Summertime Is ‘trauma Season’ for Hospital ERs.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 2014. Web.