Prevent Brain Injury – Everyday, common sense advice
Did you know that you could reduce the chance that you, your family and loved ones will have a brain injury? You can! Just follow these helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Prevent brain injury while driving:
- 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 (according to the child’s height, weight, and age) in the car.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets when:
- Riding a bike, 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; or
- Skiing or snowboarding.
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;
- Removing tripping hazards such as small area rugs and loose electrical cords;
- Using non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors;
- Putting grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;
- Maintaining a regular exercise program to improve strength, balance, and coordination; and
- Seeing an eye doctor regularly for a vision check to help lower the risk of falling.
- Make sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood, mulch, and sand.
- Keep firearms stored unloaded in a locked cabinet or safe. Store bullets in a separate secured location.
Want to learn more? Check out additional information and suggestions to prevent brain injury from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Vermont PHaT*—Protect your Head at all Times—Initiative.
*PhaT is a successful Vermont-based brain injury prevention initiative created in 2002 by Dr. Robert Williams, a pediatric anesthesiologist and a critical care specialist at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. PHAT has joined forces with the UVM College of Medicine, the National Ski Patrol and other partners to encourage all skiers and riders to wear helmets so they have a safer experience on the slopes. In just a few years, the PHAT team has created an effective program to increase usage of helmets, and raised the visibility of the issue throughout the U.S.