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Traumatic Brain Injury - Protect Your Head

As prevention is the only cure for traumatic brain injury, it is important to protect your head to prevent traumatic brain injury.

Fall Protection

Young Children - Children under 9 commonly suffer falls at home and at playgrounds causing traumatic brain injury. Some prevention tips:

• Supervision of young children

• Home safety improvements such as guards on windows, stair gates on stairs and screens around fireplaces.

• Inspect playground areas to make certain the equipment is properly maintained and there are soft landing surfaces below the playground equipment such sand or wood chips.

• Young children riding bicycles or using roller skates or skateboards should always wear a helmet.

Older Adults - Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and hospitalization among adults 65 and older. Some prevention tips:

• Remove items from the home that can be tripped over.

• Install grab bars next to the toilet, tub or shower and non slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.

• Improve lighting in the home.

• Put handrails and lights in all staircases.

• Wear shoes inside and outside the house. Avoid wearing loose slippers.

• Avoid medications causing sleepiness or dizziness.

• Eyes should be checked once a year.

• Begin an exercise program as physical activity and strength helps prevent falls.

Motor Vehicle Safety

Other than driving safely, certain strategy should be used:

• Safety belts should be worn.

• Vehicles should have frontal and side airbags.

• Avoid loose objects in the vehicle that can fly around during an accident.

• Children should always be in properly inspected car safety seats.

Pedestrian Safety

When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle there is a good chance a traumatic brain injury will occur. Safety tips are:

• Obey all traffic signs and signals.

• Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a roadway.

• Never run across the street.

• Always use a crosswalk or corner.

• Always walk on the sidewalk.

• Make eye contact with all drivers that are stopped.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention

Shaking a baby can cause a traumatic brain injury. These types of injuries are usually a result of abuse when a parent or caregiver is frustrated when a baby will not stop crying. These are tips:

• If the baby is crying check to make certain the child is not hungry, hot or cold, or sick or that the diaper does not need to be changed.

• If the baby continues to cry try rocking the baby, rubbing their back, singing or taking them for a walk in a stroller.

• When the caregiver feels overwhelmed place the baby in a safe place such as a crib.

Sports and Recreation

Helmets or headgear should be worn while participating in:

• Baseball and softball (when batting)

• Cycling

• Football

• Hockey

• Horseback riding

• Powered recreational vehicles

• Skateboards and scooters

• Skiing

• Wrestling

• Soccer - Helmets are not usually worn, but concussions can occur and the player should be removed.

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