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Prevention

What Can I do to Help Prevent Concussion and Other Forms of TBI?

There are many ways to reduce the chances of a concussion or other form of TBI. See below for some helpful tips.

1. Buckling Your Child in the Car

Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight, and age).

Know the Stages:

  • Birth Through Age 2: Rear-facing child safety seat. For the best possible protection, infants and children should be kept in a rear-facing child safety seat, in the back seat buckled with the seat’s harness, until they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. The weight and height limits on rear-facing child safety seats can accommodate most children through age 2, check the seat’s owner’s manual for details.
  • Ages 2 to at Least 5: Forward-facing child safety seat. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (the weight and height limits on rear-facing car seats can accommodate most children through age 2) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat buckled with the seat’s harness, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds, many newer seats have higher weight limits-check the seat’s owner’s manual for details).
  • Ages 5 to 9 or 4’9″ Tall: Booster seat. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (by reaching the upper height and weight limits of their seat), they should ride in belt positioning booster seats. Remember to keep children in the back seat for the best possible protection.
  • After Age 9 and/or 4’9″ Tall: Seat belts. Children should use booster seats until adult seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (not the neck). When adult seat belts fit children properly they can use the adult seat belts without booster seats. For the best possible protection keep children in the back seat and use lap-and-shoulder belts.

Remember: All children younger than 13 years should ride in the back seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an air bag.

2. Always Wearing a Seat Belt

Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

3. Never Driving Under the Influence

Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

4. Wearing a Helmet

Always wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets when:

  • Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, 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
  • Skiing or snowboarding

5. Making Living Areas Safer for Seniors

Make living areas safer for seniors, by:

  • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways
  • Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower
  • Installing handrails on both sides of stairways
  • Improving lighting throughout the home
  • Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance. (1,2,3)

6. Making Living Areas Safer for Children

Make living areas safer for children, by:

  • 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

7. Making Sure the Surface on Your Child’s Playground is Shock-Absorbing

Make sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand. (4)

References

  1. Judge JO, Lindsey C, Underwood M, Winsemius D. Balance improvements in older women: effects of exercise training. Physical Therapy 1993;73(4):254–265.
  2. Lord SR, Caplan GA, Ward JA. Balance, reaction time, and muscle strength in exercising older women: a pilot study. Archives of Physical and Medical Rehabilitation 1993;74(8):837–839.
  3. Campbell AJ, Robertson MC, Gardner MM, Norton RN, Buchner DM. Falls prevention over 2 years: a randomized controlled trial in women 80 years and older. Age and Aging 1999;28:513–518.
  4. Mack MG, Sacks JJ, Thompson D. Testing the impact attenuation of loose fill playground surfaces. Injury Prevention 2000;6:141–144.

Related Links

Taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.