How to Protect Yourself from Brain Injury
Marc Wasserman, MD, is a neurologist on staff at Banner Estella Medical Center. His office can be reached at 623-535-0050.
Question: What is the best way for people to protect themselves against a brain injury?
Answer: We've all bumped or banged our heads. Sometimes, these bumps are nothing more than irritating. Other times, hitting our heads can result in significant injury. In fact, each year approximately 10 million people suffer head injuries in the United States, of which 1.4 million lead to some form of traumatic brain injury.
Although most brain injuries are relatively mild and cause no real long-term harm, traumatic brain injury can be quite destructive. Statistics show that 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injuries every year, and up to 90,000 experience long-term disability.
Since even the most cautious person cannot prevent every fall, accident or flying object, here are a few simple steps to better protect ourselves and loved ones.
- Always wear your seatbelt and make sure kids are safely and securely buckled in.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Wear a helmet when engaging in physical activities, such as biking, skateboarding, riding on recreational vehicles, skiing or snowboarding, and playing contact sports.
- When swimming, check the depth of the water and for potentially dangerous objects nearby before jumping or diving into the water.
- Keep your home clear of tripping hazards while taking advantage of safety features, such as handrails, non-slip mats and safety gates.