Life-changing holiday dangers

Holidaymakers jumping into water

Holidays that involve water slides and diving into shallow water could be life changing in more ways than one, a spinal surgeon has warned.

Evan Davies of University Hospital Southampton, UK, has warned holidaymakers to think twice before diving headfirst into water-themed fun, and avoid activities that could be unsafe. If you have a bad feeling about something, you should probably trust your gut instincts!

"What can often look on the face of it to be a quick and innocent thrill on these attractions can have potential to cause significant injury ─ that is something any impact head-on at high speed can cause,” he warned. Davies said that he recently operated on a patient who fractured his spine diving onto hidden rocks in Croatia and also referred to the case of a patient who snapped two vertebrae in his neck on a head-first water slide in Spain.

“It is so important that, in the excitement of being on holiday, people remember life can change in an instant and that has been evident recently both in my own patient cases and in the news,” he said. He also highlighted the fact that health warnings are not always high on the agenda at many holiday attractions, and it is therefore important that holidaymakers carry out a quick assessment of their own and also avoid getting carried away with feelings of ‘fun and invincibility’.

Underlining the seriousness of the situation, Davies stated that sometimes no level of surgery can recover the damage caused in a moment of madness. This stands as a reminder to travellers to exercise caution, keep their wits about them and, of course, ensure they have appropriate travel insurance in place that covers the activities they are planning to do while away.