Each year, the month of March is marked as the time to honor those impacted by brain injury and promote prevention, care, research, and advocacy. For over 30 years, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has called on the nation to observe Brain Injury Awareness Month through a public awareness campaign. The campaign highlights the need for de-stigmatization of brain injury, greater empowerment for those who survived brain injury and enhanced promotion of the types of support available to those living with brain injury. This year’s theme: #ChangeYourMind.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), approximately 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) each year and about 5.3 million individuals suffer from a disability resulting from a traumatic brain injury.
What is TBI?
A TBI is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. Traumatic impact injuries can be either closed (non-penetrating) or open (penetrating). Currently, there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with a TBI-related disability. The effects of brain injury include impaired thinking and memory, movement, sensations such as vision and hearing and emotional functioning such as personality changes and depression. These effects vary based on cause of injury, location of injury and the severity of the injury.
Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries
Not only is it important to raise awareness of the dangers associated with brain injuries, but sharing knowledge on how to prevent them can be invaluable information. Every nine seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. Paradowski Law recognizes and is proud to take part in Brain Injury Awareness Month by spreading awareness and providing tips to the public in an effort to prevent brain injury.
Motor vehicle safety
One of the first motor vehicle safety lessons we learn in life is to buckle up. We are all aware that not wearing a seatbelt could result in potentially fatal consequences, including serious brain injury, yet 27.5 million people still do not buckle up.
Make it a habit to put your seatbelt on and ensure all passengers are also buckled up before you start your vehicle.
Use an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat and have it inspected to make sure it is installed correctly.
Never drive while intoxicated or ride as a passenger with someone who is intoxicated.
Wear a helmet
Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of a serious brain injury. In fact, helmet use reduces the odds of a head injury by up to 50 percent.
Whether you are riding a motorcycle, a bicycle, or a scooter, always wear a helmet that fits. Keep in mind; helmets are designed specifically to an intended activity, so it is a good idea to wear the right style as helmet as well. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines before purchasing a helmet.
Falls continue to be one of the leading causes of TBIs. Young children and older adults are most at risk of suffering a TBI from a fall. Reduce the risk of falls by:
Ensuring there are hand bars and rails along with adequate lighting on stairs, especially for those who have poor vision or difficulty walking.
Make sure your loved ones visit the eye doctor at least once a year.
Encourage regular exercise as it improves strength, balance and coordination.
Supervision is key to preventing falls in young children. Whether your child is inside at home or playing outside, they should be supervised at all times around fall hazards.
Aside from being struck by a vehicle, pedestrians can suffer TBIs in other ways such as: a slip, trip, or fall due to dangerous conditions on sidewalks or properties.
Walking distracted is just as dangerous as distracted driving. Avoid looking down at your cell phone while walking, especially when crossing the street.
Make eye contact with drivers who are stopped to be sure they are aware you are about to cross the street.
Obey all traffic signs and signals.
Team sports safety
Taking part in a team sport can be very beneficial as it keeps you physically active and can teach sportsmanship and discipline. On the downside, playing sports puts athletes at risk of head injuries that cause the brain to move quickly back and forth.
Athletes should wear appropriate protective equipment that fits properly.
Athletes should understand safe playing techniques and follow the rules of the game.
Coaches and parents should learn how to detect signs and symptoms of a concussion.
Athletes with suspected head injuries should not return to play until they are evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Contact Paradowski Law After an Accident
Traumatic brain injuries affect millions of people every year. Therefore, it is pertinent to understand their causes, effects, and how to seek help after. While there are several ways to decrease your chances of sustaining a TBI, you may still receive an injury due to no fault of your own.
If you were injured due to the negligence of someone else and suffered a TBI as a result, we can help you recover compensation for medical bills, injuries, and pain and suffering. Do not hesitate to contact our skilled team today. Call us at (855) 524-2976 to schedule a consultation.