Preventing Head Injuries
Falling down and bumping your head doesn’t seem like a life or death incident. Yet the brain is a sensitive organ. Sometimes a simple bump can cause a lifetime of struggle and pain. Even mild injuries to the brain can cause a concussion and lead to complications. The good news is that head injuries are relatively simple to prevent.
Injuries in the Playground and around the Home
When your child is playing on a playground, look to the surface that they’re playing on. Is it cement or asphalt or are they playing on mulch or sand? Softer materials will absorb the impact if your child should fall. This helps to prevent head injury as well as whiplash and broken bones.
Look for hazards around your home. These include bathrooms, stairs, and small area rugs. Keep young children from using the stairs unaided and install window guards to prevent them from falling out of windows. Install handrails on stairways and make sure there are non-slip mats in the bathroom. Remove tripping hazards like cords and area rugs.
Make sure children, and adults, always wear their seat belts when traveling in cars. And children should be in an age, height, and weight appropriate car seat that is properly installed. Children’s beds should be low to the ground and if your child is at the age where they can climb out of their crib, it’s time for a toddler bed.
Preventing Head Injuries in Sports
People don’t seem to like wearing helmets very much. Yet this is the single most important piece of sporting equipment. It can save your life and prevent traumatic brain injury or concussion. Parents and adults need to set good examples for their children, and children must be required to wear a helmet in their sport. Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets when:
- Riding a bike
- Riding anything with a motor like a dirt bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, or ATV
- Playing a contact sport like football, hockey, lacrosse, or boxing
- Riding a horse
- Riding a skateboard
- Playing baseball or softball
- Doing snow sports like skiing or snowboarding
Additionally, if your child plays soccer, talk to them and to your coach about heading the ball. Studies have shown that soccer has a high head injury risk and a high incidence of concussions. Cheerleading is also a dangerous sport for head injuries. Make sure your child’s coach is taking every precaution to protect your child.
The brain is your most important organ and injures to the brain are still a bit of a mystery to the medical community. One concussion can cause a lifetime of problems. Make sure your head, and the heads of your loved ones, are protected.
A physical therapist and educator, Cynthia graduated with a BS in physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh and a masters in exercise physiology from Temple University. She served as a staff physical therapist at the Annapolis Naval Hospital and chief physical therapist at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
She owned and operated Squirrel Hill Physical Therapy in Pittsburgh PA for 30 years. She is extensively trained in osteopathic techniques, Myofascial Release, Lymphatic Drainage, Nasal Release Technique, and PEMF. She sees patients privately and teaches continuing education for health care practitioners around the world. Visit www.conquerconcussion.com for more information.