Head trauma can lead to death or brain injuries that can affect your memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance, and coordination. Check out these tips on how to prevent concussions.
Step 1: Wear a helmet Wear a helmet when playing sports like football, hockey, or lacrosse, or when participating in any recreational activity that puts you at risk for head injuries, like skiing or snowboarding, or riding a horse, motorcycle, or bicycle.
TIP: Wearing a specially designed mouth guard during contact sports can also help prevent concussions.
Step 2: Strap on a seat belt Prevent concussions in motor vehicles. Always wear a seat belt to keep your upper-body stable in case of an accident.
TIP: Place toddlers and infants in appropriately sized car seats.
Step 3: Dive safely Heading for a swim? Never dive into water that's less than 9 feet or 3 meters deep to avoid hitting your head against the bottom.
Step 4: Clean the floor Help turn homes into slip-free zones. Light rooms well, keep floors clear of hazards, and place rubber slip mats in showers and bathtubs to prevent unexpected falls. Seniors especially should wear thin, hard-soled, flat shoes -- high heels, sandals, and bouncy sneakers can impair balance.
Step 5: Use your brain Think about your actions. If you're concerned that an activity could cause a brain injury, take a moment and judge the risks before getting involved. Remember: the easiest way to prevent a concussion is to use your head!
FACT: In 2010, the National Football League began requiring its teams to hang a poster on the dangers of concussions in locker rooms.