March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Each year there are over 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) reported, and data from 2016 indicates that seven percent of U.S. children have suffered a severe concussive event during their life time. TBIs can be caused by a multitude of types of accidents and injuries including slip and fall accidents, bicycle accidents, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents or combative training.
The Centers for Disease Control offers the following ways to reduce the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury, including:
- Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight, and age).
- Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
- Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:
- Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle;
- Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;
- Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;
- Batting and running bases in baseball or softball;
- Riding a horse; or
- Skiing or snowboarding.
- Making living areas safer for seniors, by:
- Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;
- Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;
- Installing handrails on both sides of stairways;
- Improving lighting throughout the home
- Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance.
- Making living areas safer for children, by:
- Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and
- Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
- Making sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)