For youngsters and old folks, falls are the number-one cause of head injuries, so keep your house free of clutter and well-lit to prevent tripping. You may even consider installing hand rails in certain places like the bathroom so that you can catch yourself if you take a spill on a slippery tile. Also, when selecting footwear, use common sense. While it may be fashionable to wear flat-soled loafers, if it's a rainy autumn day and there are wet leaves all over the ground, you may want to opt for shoes with more traction.
When you're engaging in any physical activity that may result in head injury, wearing protective headgear will vastly reduce your chances of experiencing a concussion. Wearing a helmet will also make your athletic experience more enjoyable, since you'll have one less thing to worry about. When swimming, never dive head-first into a body of water unless you know for a fact that it's too deep for you to reach the bottom.
Always wear your seatbelt, and if you're renting or purchasing a new vehicle, try to seek out one with side-impact airbags. It should become a reflexive movement to reach for your seatbelt anytime you sit in an automobile. Furthermore, you should encourage others to do so as well. If you're driving, don't put the car in gear until all of your passengers' seatbelts are securely fastened.
Seatbelts, airbags and helmets can all help prevent or at least lessen the damage of concussion. It's also important for those who are susceptible to falling to wear footwear with good traction to minimize the risk of slipping. And it's also important to keep a clean, clutter-free house to decrease the chances of tripping and hitting your head. The best preventative practice, however, is simply to use your head. If you're well-rested and alert at all times, you'll be more aware of your surroundings, and less likely to fall victim to a concussion-inducing accident [source: Mayo Clinic].
If you're interested in learning more about concussions, take a look at the links below.
More Great Links
- Baird, Daniel. "Preventing Concussions." U of T Magazine. Winter 2011. (Dec. 21, 2011) http://www.magazine.utoronto.ca/leading-edge/preventing-concussions-dr-charles-tator-interview/
- Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch. "Concussions." (Dec. 21, 2011) http://web.archive.org/web/20091124150222/http://www.cinn.org/other/concussions.html
- Cunha, John P. "Concussion." 2011. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.emedicinehealth.com/concussion/article_em.htm
- Fusco, Evan. "Head Injury." (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.emedicinehealth.com/head_injury/article_em.htm
- ImPACT. "ImPACT Background." (Dec. 16, 2011) http://web.archive.org/web/20100325112524/http://www.impacttest.com/impactbackground.php
- Lew, Henry L., MD, PhD. "Review of sports-related concussion: Potential for application in military settings." Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. Vol. 44, No. 7. pp. 963-974. 2007. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.research.va.gov/programs/JRRD/44_7/page963.pdf
- Mayo Clinic. "Concussion Prevention." Deb. 22, 2011 (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/concussion/DS00320/DSECTION=prevention
- NEUROSURGERYTODAY. "Sports-Related Head Injury." December 2011. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.aans.org/en/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Concussion.aspx
- Mitterando, Jim. "ASK THE DOCTOR: JUST THE FACTS - Common medical myths." 2002. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://web.archive.org/web/20091009173836/http://www.healthcaresouth.com/pages/askthedoctor/myths.htm
- Peak Performance. "What should athletes do when concussion strikes?" (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/what-should-athletes-do-when-concussion-strikes-36296
- Smith, Stephanie. "What will happen to former NFL player's brain?" CNN. Feb. 26, 2011. (Dec. 21, 2011) http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/02/26/duerson.brain.exam/index.html
- The Worldwide Physiologist. "Vascular Autoregulation." 2000. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.anaesthetist.com/physiol/basics/autoreg/Findex.htm#index.htm
- Yamamoto, Loren G. "Tidbits on Raising Children -- Making Our Most Important Job Easier By Doing it Better: Chapter 56. Head Injuries, Concussions and CAT Scans." (Dec. 16, 2011) http://web.archive.org/web/20100603100536/http://www.hawaii.edu/medicine/pediatrics/parenting/c56.html