Charles Tator imageDr. Charles Tator, Neurosurgeon in the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and founder of ThinkFirst Canada, a national injury-prevention program, asks all UHN staff and their families to consider a few things before stepping out and enjoying the remaining weeks of summer.

Did you know that the depth of a body of water must be at least twice your height to dive into it? Diving is the number one cause of broken necks in summertime sports and recreation activities. Every year, 100 Canadians dive into shallow waters and cause severe long-term injuries to their spinal cord. It is extremely important to check the depth of a body of water before you make the leap, especially since water levels have decreased substantially in many lakes throughout Ontario in the past decade.

To stay safe and have fun in the water, Dr. Tator advises everyone to learn how to swim. This summer, a number of drowning incidents have been reported. Swimming is a life skill that everyone should have and it could save your life.

If you are not a strong swimmer, remember to always wear a floatation device while on a boat. Boating mishaps are the number one cause of water related fatalities. Whether you are canoeing, kayaking, fishing or sailing, make sure to include a life jacket as part of your boating fashion.

Summer is also the season when many Torontonians dust off their bikes and cycle to work. It's a great way to fit exercising into your schedule and help reduce your carbon footprint. However, did you know that only 48 percent of adult cyclists in Toronto are wearing helmets? Although the law only requires individuals under the age of 18 to wear a helmet, it is extremely important for cyclists to wear their helmets to protect themselves, particularly when cycling in Toronto — a city that wasn't built for cyclists.

– Priscilla Hsu​​

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