JACKSON, Miss.—Think First, Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s statewide safety and injury prevention program, and hospital physicians are urging parents and children to think first about back-to-school safety.

“Planning a safe route to school, never talking to or accepting rides from strangers and knowing school bus safety rules can save a child’s life,” said Lauren Fairburn, director of Think First.

Fairburn says that riding the school bus is one of the safest forms of transportation and that most accidents occur while students are getting on and off the bus.

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BRANDON, Miss.—Before the car accident that changed his life forever, Donald Vowell didn’t see what was so special about water skiing.

But now as a quadriplegic, the 29 year-old Ackerman resident can’t help smiling as he enjoys the thrill of zipping through the waves.

Vowell isn’t letting his injury change his plans. He’s still going to Mississippi State University this fall to pursue his master’s degree in business administration and he’s finding a new freedom through water skiing.

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JACKSON, Miss.—As children begin to return to school, Methodist Rehabilitation Center is urging parents and educators to think first about playground safety.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 200,000 children will be injured this year in American playgrounds.

“Because many playgrounds are potentially unsafe, adults need to be more involved in playground supervision, ” said Dr. Rahul Vohra, medical director at Methodist Rehab. “All playgrounds need to be checked for hazards.”

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JACKSON, Miss.—In today’s world, riding four-wheeled all terrain vehicles isn’t just for weekend warriors anymore. Today, ATVs are often used by serious sportsmen, on family outings and as a tool in the workplace.

That’s why physicians at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson are cautioning the public to be careful and obey all safety rules while operating them.

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BILOXI, Miss.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center has been recognized by the Mississippi Hospital Association for excellence in the field of health care marketing and public relations.

MHA honored the Jackson hospital’s safety program, Web site, magazine and media relations program with seven Maggie awards and a certificate of merit at their annual convention in Biloxi.

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JACKSON, Miss.—A Methodist Rehabilitation Center physician says that early diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can prevent long-term nerve damage and pain.

CTS occurs when ligaments or tendons in the wrist become inflamed and cause the median nerve in the wrist to compress. Wrist bones form the floor of the tunnel and a tight ligament forms its roof. Within the tunnel, muscle tendons and fibrous tissue surround the median nerve.

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JACKSON, Miss.—As a physically challenged athlete herself, Natalie Ellis understands the importance of having the best sports equipment.

That’s partly why the Mississippi Paralysis Association, which Ellis is president of, has made a $5,000 donation to Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s therapeutic recreation program.

The money will be used to upgrade and purchase new equipment for the hospital’s quad rugby team.

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JACKSON, Miss.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s nutrition services department and Think First, the Jackson hospital’s safety and injury prevention program, are urging people to think first about safe outdoor cooking and to follow proper cooking guidelines to assure food is properly thawed, fully cooked and bacteria free.

“Handling food properly, frequently washing hands and sanitizing utensils and platters is very important in maintaining food safety,” said John Pelton, director of nutrition services at Methodist Rehab.

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JACKSON, Miss.—For eight years, Josh Sharpe has been proving people wrong about athletes and disabilities.

The 27 year-old Jackson resident hasn’t slowed down since becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a 1994 car accident. If anything, he’s picked up the pace.

After his accident, Sharpe decided he wanted to encourage other people with disabilities, but he also wanted to get out and enjoy the rest of the life that he nearly lost. While undergoing therapy at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, he met Ginny Boydston, the director of therapeutic recreation.

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JACKSON—Physicians at Methodist Rehabilitation Center are encouraging Mississippians to limit their exposure to heat, especially during the summer months.

“Exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous and potentially life threatening”, said Dr. Rahul Vohra, medical director at Methodist Rehab. “There are several heat-related illnesses that can occur, such as sunburn, cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death.”

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