Brain Injury Prevention
Prevention is the best cure for brain injury. With a brain injury occurring every 15 seconds, it is paramount that attention be focused on preventing TBIs and other head injuries.
The use of helmets by both children and adults involving sports must be emphasized and playgrounds must be made child safe. Bicycle helmets must be worn; seatbelts and car seats fastened and secured.
Installing safety bars and non-slip mats in the house is the best way to prevent falls and brain injuries in older adults, as well as ensuring there is adequate lighting, especially at night. It is also important to be careful of medications that may cause dizziness.
Child Brain Injury Prevention
Most injuries causing child brain injury brain damage can be prevented. Here are some rules to follow to reduce the risk of brain damage:
- Never shake a child.
- Install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows.
- Install shock-absorbing material on playgrounds.
- Wear helmets during sports or cycling, seatbelts in cars, and proper car seats
- Avoid falls by using a stepstool when reaching for high items.
- Install handrails on stairways.
- Don’t keep guns; if you do, keep them unloaded and locked away.
- Never drink and drive.
You can take immediate action to prevent further damage following a head injury.
The earlier treatment is given, the greater the chance of avoiding brain damage. Symptoms can often take time to manifest after a head injury, and can get progressively getting worse, leading to extensive brain damage.
- Sit the victim down to make sure they are stable and safe
- Look for a scalp wound; if present, apply a cloth and pressure to the wound
- Give the victim something cold to hold against the wound
- Gently check to see if the victim is alert, coherent and responsive. Look for dizziness or nausea, loss of memory, headaches, and confusion
- Seek immediate help if symptoms worsen, such as increased drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, double vision, difficulty walking or speaking
- Seek immediate emergency care if the victim is unresponsive or has a deteriorating level of responsiveness, leaking blood or watery fluid from nose or ears, or unequal pupil size
Raising awareness about brain injury
By raising awareness about TBI, we can more clearly understand the risks associated with head injuries and what preventative measures can be taken. According to the CDC, traumatic brain injury is a silent epidemic: it can turn a victim’s life upside down; a normal life can turn into a never-ending battle. Whenever possible, we must strive to de-stigmatize brain injury issues and empower brain injury survivors.