Injury Prevention

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Every 30 seconds, someone visits a hospital in Ontario due to an injury. Most of these injuries can be avoided.

About 90% of injuries are preventable, yet unplanned injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians who are 1 to 44 years of age. Many non-fatal injuries can result in serious harm and disability.

There is so much we can do as individuals, family members, friends, and neighbours to reduce injuries. Being alert and aware of your surroundings can help keep you safe. Click on the links below for tips on how you can reduce your risk of injury.

Road Safety

Driving Safely

Being a safe and responsible driver takes a combination of skills, knowledge, and attitude. Follow these 10 tips for better driving:

  1. Stay alert - Ensure you are aware of what’s around you, your actions, the drivers around you, and the roadways.
  2. Follow the rules of the road - Pay close attention to and obey stop signs and traffic lights.
  3. Manage distractions - Do not use a cellphone, eat, drink, or groom yourself while driving.
  4. Wear your seatbelt - Your seatbelt should be properly adjusted and securely fastened.
  5. Obey speed limits - Stay within the maximum speed limit posted on signs along all roads. As a general rule, you will be safer if you drive at the same speed as traffic around you, without going over the speed limit.
  6. Take extra care in poor weather conditions - Use precautions when driving in rain, snow, or fog.
  7. Always drive sober - Never operate a vehicle if you have been drinking, or have taken any other substances that may impair your judgment.
  8. Know where you are going - Plan your travel route ahead of time so that you are not struggling to find your way while driving.
  9. Be mindful of blind spots – Always check your blind spots when merging and reduce your blind spots as much as possible by adjusting your mirrors.
  10. Proper vehicle maintenance - Regular and timely maintenance of your vehicle will decrease your chance of a breakdown. 

Pedestrian Safety

Safety rules for everyone

  • Walk on the side of the sidewalk furthest away from the curb
  • Wear reflective clothing or accessories when it is dark
  • Walk facing traffic when there are no sidewalks
  • Remove head phones when walking, riding, or playing near the road
  • Stay off snow banks
  • Look and listen for vehicles backing up (e.g. white reverse light and/or beeping sounds)

When crossing the road:

  • Cross at marked crosswalks, traffic lights, or stop signs when traffic has come to a complete stop
  • Make sure drivers see you before you step onto the road
  • Never cross in the middle of a block or between parked cars
  • Obey crossing guards
  • Watch for vehicles turning at intersections
  • Do not start to cross if you see a flashing “Do Not Walk” symbol. If you already started to cross, complete your crossing in safety.

Tips for parents and guardians

Because children are small, they can be hard for drivers to see. Children may also not be able to judge how fast a car is going and whether they can cross the road safely. To help keep children stay safe, we recommend that you:

  • Have your children walk in pairs or groups to and from school if they normally walk
  • Choose bright, reflective clothes for your child
  • Know where your children are playing at all times
  • Make sure children are being supervised when playing outside
  • Always cross the road with children who are 10 years of age and under, as well as those who need more practise crossing the road safely
  • Discuss family safety rules with your children. Explain why rules are important and need to be followed
  • Tell your children you are proud of them when they use sidewalks and cross the street safely
  • Be a role model and cross at intersections safely

Visit our Injury Prevention in Schoolspage for school-related road safety information.

 Off-Road Safety

 

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles are popular forms of activity for people living in our area. These vehicles are also used in farming and other industrial settings, for commuting in remote areas, and in emergencies.

ATVs and snowmobiles often weigh more than 550lbs and can exceed speeds of 90km/h. These vehicles typically do not have seatbelts, airbags, walls, or a roof, making riders at risk of injury.

If you ride an ATV or snowmobile, you should know how the vehicle works, how to ride it safely in diverse conditions, and applicable laws.

Tips for safe use

DO:

  • Always wear proper fitted helmet and equipment
  • Fill up the gas tank before you leave
  • Get proper training
  • Ride sober
  • Check the weather before heading out
  • Maintain your vehicle
  • Check trail and ice conditions
  • Obey speed limits and road/trail signs
  • Bring a first-aid kit and a survival kit

AVOID

  • Riding alone
  • Riding if you are 16 years or under
  • Night riding without taking proper precautions
  • Driving outside your ability
  • Overloading your vehicle

 Water Safety

 

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of five in Canada. Children can drown in as little as 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water.

Child water safety

  • Babies who are too young or small to wear a portable flotation device and who can’t sit without support should be held by an adult at all times while in or around water
  • Toddlers should always be within arm’s reach of an adult when in or around water
  • Never leave children alone in a pool or bathtub, not even for a moment
  • Children and weaker swimmers should wear lifejackets or personal flotation devices in and around pools or bodies of water
  • Hot tubs should not be used by children under the age of five, not even with an adult
  • Enroll your child in swimming lessons

Safe boating

  • Don't drink alcohol or use any other substances that may impair judgment while boating – it is dangerous and you could lose your licence
  • Ensure you have a Canadian-approved flotation device or lifejacket of appropriate size for each passenger on board
  • Wear a lifejacket – 80% boating fatalities occur when not wearing lifejacket
  • Carry a safety kit, including a cell phone
  • Check weather and water conditions
  • Know what to do in an emergency, including CPR and calling 9-1-1.

 

For more information on injury prevention visit the following pages:
Concussions
Helmets
Stay on Your Feet

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808