As prevention is the only cure for traumatic brain injury, it is important to protect your head to prevent traumatic brain injury.
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.
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)
- Horseback riding
- Powered recreational vehicles
- Skateboards and scooters
- Soccer - Helmets are not usually worn, but concussions can occur and the player should be removed.