TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. A TBI is an injury to the brain that is caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating injury to the head that disrupts the brain's normal function. Most TBIs are considered "mild," such as concussions, but some result in "severe" brain injuries.
Reducing the risk of TBI for yourself or your family could be as easy as following these seven guidelines:
1) Always wear a seat belt. Not only is it important that you always wear your seat belt, it is important to wear your seat belt properly. Seat belts should fit snugly over your hip bones, as opposed to your stomach. Also, shoulder straps are to be worn over the shoulder and not under the arm.
2) Make sure children are buckled in correctly. Properly securing children in a car seat is extremely important in preventing TBIs. Children should either be buckled into the proper child safety seat or secured correctly by a seat belt. Children should be in a car safety seat until they out grow it at about 40 pounds, at which time, they should start using a booster seat. Until the child can properly wear a seat belt, usually around 4'9" tall, they should continue to use their booster seats.
3) Make sure you and your children always wear helmets when needed. Helmets are crucial accessories for many sports and activities. Children and adults should wear a helmet when:
- Riding a bike, motorcycle, scooter, ATV, ect.
- Playing contact sports, such as football, hockey, baseball, etc.
- Skateboarding or rollerblading; and,
- Riding a horse.
4) Make sure seniors are safe in their homes. TBIs are common in the elderly and can often result in death. To avoid possible injury, make sure their home is safe by:
- Remove any tripping hazards, like rugs and clutter in walkways;
- Make the bathroom safe by installing non-slip mats and grab bars near the toilet and in the shower;
- Make sure all stairways have handrails;
- Make sure the house has adequate lighting; and,
- Make sure they have regular physical activity, if possible, to improve lower body strength and balance.
5) Make sure children are safe in their homes. To avoid TBI injuries to children in the home, install safety gates near stairs and window guards to prevent children from falling in these areas.
6) Make sure your children's playground have shock-absorbing material, like hardwood mulch or sand, for the surface.
7) Never drive while under the influence of alcohol and drug. This can include some prescription drugs. Make sure to read the labels for restrictions.
Make sure to read our article "Traumatic Brain injuries"