Whether you are riding a bike, a motorcycle, or doing any sort of activity that involves high speed and has the potential for injury, a helmet is a must have! Although you don’t wear helmets while driving in your car, there are ways to prevent a TBI even in the most mundane of situations.
TBIs, or traumatic brain injuries, are a serious matter that can cause lasting damage on the human body.
In addition to being a leading cause of death, TBIs can dramatically diminish quality of life for patients who survive.
The high incidence of TBIs in the U.S. presents a major public health problem since patients with these injuries often end up seeking medical care later, sometimes long after the injury, with complaints of ongoing symptoms. This is a recipe for disaster.
TBI in the United States
- An estimated 2.8 million people sustain a TBI annually.1
- Of those 2.8 million people, 50,000 die.
- 282,000 are hospitalized, and 2.5 million, nearly 90%, are treated and released from an emergency department.
- TBI is a contributing factor to nearly a third (30%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States.
- Every day, 153 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI.
- Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions.
- Direct medical costs and indirect costs of TBI, such as lost productivity, totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2000.
- Buckle Up EVERY RIDE – Wear a seat belt every time you get in your car – or ride – in any type of motor vehicle. Make it a habit!
- NEVER drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Wear a helmet, or appropriate headgear, when you or your children: Ride a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or use an all-terrain vehicle; Play a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing; Use in-line skates or ride a skateboard; Bat and run bases in baseball or softball; Ride a horse; or ski or snowboard.
Prevent Older Adult Falls
Talk to your doctor to evaluate your risk for falling, and talk with them about specific things you can do to reduce your risk for a fall.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy. This should include prescription medicines, over-the counter medicines, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
Have your eyes checked at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses if needed.
Do strength and balance exercises to make your legs stronger and improve your balance.
Make Your Home Safer
Make living and play areas safer for children. Install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows. Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around. Make sure your child’s playground has soft material under it, such as hardwood mulch or sand.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Report to Congress on mild traumatic brain injury in the United States: steps to prevent a serious public health problem. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2003.