A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when a blow to the head or penetrating head injury disrupts normal brain function. TBIs are most commonly the result of an automobile accident, fall, sports injury or violent behavior. TBIs can happen to anyone. However, kids, teens and the elderly are the most at risk. Always be aware of your surroundings and use the below tips to prevent TBI.
Kids and Teens
Kids and teens tend to be more active than adults, putting them at a higher risk for a traumatic brain injury. To avoid accidents, keep a watchful eye on children who may be too young to look after themselves.
Ensure that your child is wearing the correct protection when playing their favorite sport or riding their bike, skateboard, scooter, etc. Brain injuries like concussions can happen at any time so it is best that you are prepared to prevent them. Kids and teens should always wear a helmet when engaging in any physical activity.
Safety Locks and Gates
Infants and small children are especially at risk from falls in the home. Never leave an infant or small child unattended. To ensure the safety of young children in your home, install gates that block off stairwells and make sure windows have a guard or are locked.
The risk of fall increases with age, especially if the person is not active. These heightened risks mean that the elderly have a greater chance of sustaining a brain injury. Check on older family members or friends to ensure they live in a fall-proof environment.
Remove Tripping Hazards
Throw rugs and household clutter increases your risk of falls. Make sure there is a clear path throughout your or your loved one’s house. Throw rugs should be disposed of and non-slip mats should be installed in the bathroom, kitchen or any area where slips may occur.
Install Extra Support Bars
Using grab bars for extra support can prevent an accidental slip from occurring. Grab bars should be installed in the bathroom of all elderly individuals’ homes. Hand rails must be installed in stairways and outside walkways for added support while walking.
Improve Lighting in Home
Sometimes a trip can occur because the individual didn’t see an object in the way. To avoid these obstacles, ensure hallways and dark corners of your or your loved one’s home are well lit. Invest in new lighting if the house or living area is dimly lit.
Behind falls, automobile accidents are responsible for most TBIs suffered by Americans. On average, some 286,000 TBIs result from Car crashes annually. Car accidents can happen at any moment, at any time, to anyone. Here are some steps you can take to prevent brain injury in the unfortunate case of an automobile accident.
Wear a Seatbelt
It’s the law! Buckling up reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45%, and risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%. Make sure children fasten their seatbelts as well. Children ages 4 until 8 must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are over 4 feet 9 inches or weigh more than 40 lbs. Children under age 4 must be restrained in a childpassenger restraint system. One study showed children are likely to be buckled 92% of the time when adults in the car use seat belts, as opposed to 72% of the time when adults are not using them, so lead by example.
Never Drink and Drive
When someone drives under the influence of alcohol of drugs, they put themselves and everyone around them at risk for injury or even death! In 2014, alcohol impaired driving crashes accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic related deaths in the United States. If you are having a few drinks, stay safe by appointing a designated driver, call a cab or order an Uber!
Pay Attention & Obey the Law
Traffic laws are put in place in order to protect you from danger. Distractions will take your eyes off the road, putting you at a higher risk. Avoid multitasking while driving. This includes using a cell phone, eating or grooming.