Stay Safe on the Water This Summer
The tug of the tow line, the rush of the water beneath you. If you've ever tried water tubing, you probably agree that it can certainly be fun. It can also be hazardous. A recent study has documented an alarming rise in the number of water-tubing injuries. Being smart about boating can help you stay safe while water tubing this summer.
Waves of injuries
Water tubing is similar to skiing-sans the skis. Pulled behind a boat, you skim along in an inner tube or another floatable device. Unlike skiing, though, you don't have much control over your movements, including how you hit the water. That's often a contributing factor to many water-tubing injuries. Another leading reason for injuries: Colliding with others who are also enjoying the ride.
In the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, researchers analyzed data on the number of water-tubing injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms from 1991 to 2009. During that timeframe, they noted a 190 percent increase in such injuries. They speculate the rise may be linked to the activity's growing popularity.
Nearly 60 percent of those injured while water tubing were ages 20 and older. The most common type of injury: a strain or sprain, followed by bruising. Upper parts of the body, including the head and neck, were most often hurt. Children were especially prone to head injuries-possibly because they are more likely to ride with and collide with another person. Adults were more likely to injure a knee or another lower body part.
Although researchers have found an upsurge in water-tubing injuries, you shouldn't feel bound to the shore. You can help prevent many injuries related to tubing and other boating activities. Follow these safety tips:
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
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