Summer is a great time for kids get outside and be active. Regular play as well as training for fall school sports keeps kids busy and provides exercise. While fun is the main goal, safety should also be a concern. Many popular outdoor activities pose a potential risk for brain injury if helmets are not worn. Brain injuries are caused by bumps or blows to the head. These injuries are sometimes called concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and can range from mild to severe.
The best way to protect your family from a brain injury to prevent it from happening. Many accidents can be prevented with the simple use of a helmet. Make sure your kids are playing safe and provide them with the proper gear. The US Centers for Disease Control estimates that wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of serious brain injury caused by a bicycle accident by 74 to 85 percent. They estimate that one fatal head injury could be prevented every day, and one nonfatal head injury could be prevented every four minutes if children and teens wore bicycle helmets. Children and teens have higher bicycle accident injury and mortality rates than any other age group. In order for a helmet to be effective, the first step is making sure it’s being worn. The best way to get your child to wear a helmet is to wear one yourself when the activity calls for the use of one. Parents can set a good example – and protect themselves – at the same time!
Other Tips to Prevent Head Injury
- Supervise young children at all times and don’t let them participate in sports not suitable for their age.
- Wear appropriate clothing for the sport.
- Do not dive in water less than 12 feet deep or in above-ground pools.
- Follow all rules at water parks and swimming pools.
- Obey all traffic signals, and be aware of drivers when cycling, skateboarding or rollerblading.
- Avoid uneven or unpaved surfaces when cycling, skateboarding or rollerblading.
- Perform regular safety checks of sports fields, playgrounds and equipment.
- Discard and replace sporting equipment or protective gear that is damaged.