Avoiding Accidents while Abroad
Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, injuries are the leading cause of preventable death in travellers?
Accidents and injuries are the most common reason for travellers consulting a doctor, requiring hospitalization or even repatriation and death. Estimates of
18%-24% of deaths among travellers in foreign countries are caused by injuries.
You may be wondering why this is the case. Some of the common causes of injuries to travellers are due to: unfamiliar surroundings, they may have difficulty communicating because of a language barrier, taking greater risks than when they are at home, or the safety/equipment and transportation standards differ from their home country.
Below are a few recommendations to keep in mind when you are travelling to prevent unwelcome accidents.
Before you leave, ensure you have adequate medical insurance for your destination(s), health history, type of travel and adventure sport.
Check your surroundings; balconies, stable railings, smoke alarms, adequate ventilation
- Always swim with a buddy
- Be aware of water tides, currents and aquatic animals such as jellyfish
- In pools, avoid diving in shallow water and running on slippery pool decks
- Follow local recommendations
- Check the vehicle or moped is safe for driving
- Use seat belts and helmets when available
- Familiarize yourself with local road rules and the vehicle before you drive
- Roads may be in disrepair, so pay attention at all times
- As a passenger, sit in the back seat of the vehicle
- Don’t be overambitious
- Be aware that Canadian safety standards are higher than other countries
- Check the condition of the equipment being used
- Ensure you are prepared for the sport you will be undertaking;
- Adequate trauma care may not be available in some countries; lack of emergency response could increase severity of injury and/or mortality
Remember: Use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and avoiding alcohol will significantly decrease poor judgment and accidents.