Report shows increase in tubing injuries

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Tubing is a favorite activity of families during the summer, but researchers warn that boaters need to be careful when towing riders.

“Riders have very little control over the direction or the velocity of the … tube. And they also don’t have control over colliding with objects in the water, on the shore or with other riders on the tube,” Lara McKenzie, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, told CNN.

According to researchers at the Columbus, Ohio, hospital, injuries from tubing were up 250 percent from 1991 to 2009. The study showed that 83 percent of the injuries occurred during the warmer months, equating to more than 65 tubing-related injuries treated in U.S. hospitals every day during the summer.

The injuries included head injuries, face injuries, and sprains and strains. The most frequent injuries were to the head and upper extremities.

The most common ways that people were injured were when someone in a tube hit the water or made contact with another person.

McKenzie said the best way to stay safe is to “follow basic guidelines, wear personal flotation devices, limit the number of riders to what the manufacturer suggests for that particular tube, and just otherwise practice safe boating practices.”