The members of the Academy believe that the best cure for a brain injury is prevention. Traumatic brain injuries are not genetic or contagious, but are preventable. Even mild head injury can cause serious and life long term brain damage. The best way to protect yourself and your family from brain injuries is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Here are some tips to from the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) to reduce the chances that you or your family member will sustain a traumatic brain or traumatic head injury.
- Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle
- Always buckle your child into a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt
Wear a helmet and make sure your child wear helmets when:
- Riding a bicycle, motorcycle, snowmobile 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
- Skiing or snowboard
Avoid falls in the home by:
- Using a step stool with a grab bar to reach objects on high shelves
- Installing handrails on stairways
- Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows
- Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around
- Avoid tripping hazards such as small area rugs, loose electrical cords and foreign objects on the floor
- Install non slip mats in the bathtub and shower floors
- Put grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower
- Make sure that the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock absorbing material such as mulch or sand
- Keep firearms stored unloaded in a locked cabinet or safe. Store bullets in a separate location.
Avoid drowning accidents by:
- Never leave a child alone, even for a second near a swimming pool
- Install sensors on doors leading from the house to the pool
When common sense steps are not taken, frequently preventable brain and head injury results. Many times the failure to take the necessary steps can lead to a negligence suit against the unreasonable person who was responsible for the safety of others.
Set the Right Example: Wear a Helmet
We believe that it is important that we set the right example for our children and for our community. It is not enough to advocate the use of helmets, we must use them ourselves when we engage in sporting activities and we must make these helmets available to children whose families cannot afford to purchase them.