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Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 By

Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an individual suffers from a forceful jolt or blow to their head or any type of penetration that subsequently leads to a disruption in the overall functionality of the individual’s brain. A TBI can be the result of an entire array of accidents and injuries, and the types and symptoms of TBIs can range dramatically depending on the overall extent of the brain damage.

Our team of attorneys is very experienced in supporting TBI victims and their families throughout the Maryland, Virginia and D.C. Metro areas, and we’re always here for you and your loved ones when someone else’s negligence ended up being the primary cause of your brain injuries.

You, of course, can always reach out to us for a free consultation prior to any type of accident or injury, and on this page, we’re going to discuss some of the ways you can help your family and yourself in terms of preventing these types of catastrophic head injuries before they change you and your family’s life forever.

Fall Prevention Among Children

Preventing TBIs from occurring is something that we should all be concerned about as parents, simply because of how vulnerable our children’s brains are and how easily these types of injuries can occur. Falls tend to be one of the leading causes of TBIs among children, and these falls typically occur at home, on playgrounds and while playing sports.

In order to fully protect your children from falls, parents and caregivers should always consider the following preventative measures:

  • Supervision is crucial, especially for young children! You should always be closely supervising your children when they’re around fall hazards like playground equipment and stairs.
  • Do your due diligence to make improvements to your home’s safety. This includes installing window guards on upper levels, stair gates and other screens/gates surrounding fireplaces and other dangerous areas throughout your property. All these precautionary devices can help make it easier for parents to prevent their child from taking a tumble.
  • Always be careful when playing on the playground. This means checking up on the maintenance and safety of the equipment your children are playing on and making sure the playgrounds you choose always offer a soft landing surface like wood chips, recycled rubber, sand, pea gravel or mulch.
  • Encourage safe sports playing. Children are always going to want to stay active and have fun, it’s simply part of being a kid, but making sure your children are wearing protective gear for every sport they participate in at all times is crucial for their health and overall safety. Sports like skateboarding, biking, and inline skating always require a helmet!

Fall Prevention for Older Adults

Falls are also one of the leading causes of TBIs and other serious injuries among adults over 65 years and older. Falls can have lasting consequences on an older individual’s mobility, mental health, and overall independence. The following prevention strategies are helpful when it comes to assisting older adults in reducing their risk of falling:

  • Remove items that can be easily tripped over, including items like clothes, throw rugs, papers, shoes, and books from heavily trafficked areas and near stairs. Double-sided tape can also be useful in terms of helping to keep rugs from slipping.
  • Be cautious of pets and their toys, because they tend to sometimes be unexpected hazards.
  • Keep often-used items in reachable cabinets, so you don’t need to use a step stool very much.
  • Install grab bars in your bathroom, and use non-slip mats on your shower floors.
  • Improve your home’s lighting. As we get older it becomes harder to see perfectly, so sometimes curtains and shades can help reduce tough glares.
  • Install lights and handrails for all staircases.
  • Wear shoes in and outside of your home, and try to avoid wearing slippers or walking around barefoot.

Motor Vehicle Safety

Car accidents have always been one of the leading causes of TBI hospitalizations, and the number one prevention method when it comes to motor vehicle safety is to always use a seatbelt! Front and side airbags that are now common in new cars are also very helpful in reducing the risks of incurring a TBI in a car accident.

Making sure that every passenger is buckled up before all your car rides is a crucial TBI prevention method, but there is still a lot more you can do beyond simply wearing a seatbelt.

Vehicle Safety Recommendations for Children

Every parent knows the importance of utilizing a safety seat for their children, but many times parents fail to realize how long their child should be in these types of seats. But no matter what, your child’s safety seat should always properly fit your vehicle, be comfortable for the child, and always be used for every car ride.

The following tips will help you ensure your child’s safety in your vehicle:

  • Use a rear-facing safety seat for toddlers until they’re at least two or have reached the manufacturer specifications for a front-facing car seat.
  • Keep your children in front-facing car seats for as long as possible until the child has reached the height/weight specifications detailed by the car seat manufacturer.
  • Use a booster seat until the child can properly fit into a seatbelt, which typically means keeping the child in a booster seat until they’re about 12.
  • Children under 13 should always sit in the back seat of your vehicle.

Pedestrian Safety

Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States back in 2016, which equates to a pedestrian death every hour and a half! Over a third of every hospitalized pedestrian sustains a TBI, which subsequently can lead to lifelong rehabilitation and endless medical bills. Children are most at risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident because they are more likely to be playing near or in a street, and older adults above 65 are also at a high risk due to a variety of physical and mental limitations.

Bicycle Safety

857 bicyclists were killed in crashes in the United States throughout 2018, and thousands more were left with serious injuries, according to the NHTSA. Head injuries are the leading cause of bicycle-related fatalities, and using a helmet during every ride is always going to be one of the most effective ways to reduce your risks of a TBI and other serious health issues.

Bicycle accidents are common throughout D.C. and other parts of Maryland and Virginia because many people bike to and from work, and simply enjoy cycling as an exercise. Everyone should always follow the rules of the road as both a driver and pedestrian and the following are some important precautionary tips to follow:

  • Obey all traffic signals and signs
  • Always check both ways, two times, before entering any intersection or roadway.
  • Never run into a street, and always cross at distinguished crosswalks or corners. When crossing at an intersection, pedestrians should always be cautious of any vehicles that may be turning a corner.
  • Walk on sidewalks, and if there isn’t a sidewalk you should walk facing traffic.
    Try to initiate eye contact with other drivers so you can be sure they are aware of you as you cross a street or intersection.
  • Wear bright colors at night to help yourself be more visible to other drivers.
    Always wear a properly fitting helmet, because a helmet can reduce your risk of incurring a TBI by about 88 percent!
  • Always follow the rules of the road! This includes the following for bicyclists:

o Riding with traffic on the right side of the road
o Obeying all traffic signals and signs
o Utilizing the proper hand signals when stopping and turning
o Coming to a full stop at all crosswalks and intersections
o Look both ways, two times, before entering a street/intersection.
o Yield right-of-way to pedestrians, skateboarders, inline skaters, and other non-motorized scooters when it’s appropriate.

Team Sports

We all know how sports can be a great way to teach children discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship. For adults, sports are always a great exercise to break out of your daily work routines. Team sports like football, hockey, soccer, baseball and much more are also, unfortunately, a risk for children when it comes to concussions and other head injuries.

Some of the ways that you can limit you and your child’s sports-related head injuries are to consider the following safety tips:

  • All athletes should wear the proper protective equipment for their specific sport, even at practice! The protective equipment should always fit properly and be maintained consistently.
  • If an athlete is suspected of suffering a concussion, they shouldn’t return to the field until a medical professional properly evaluates them.
  • Athletes must be taught how to play safely through techniques, and always follow the rules of their respective game.
  • Parents and coaches should always encourage athletes to report any hits to the head, even if they seem to feel fine.
  • Coaches and training staff should be well aware of the symptoms and signs of a concussion or TBI.

Contact one of our Experienced Head Injury Attorneys for More Information About How to Prevent TBIs

Traumatic brain injuries are always very serious medical issues that individuals and their families must endure for long periods of time, which is why you should always evaluate your legal options when it comes to assisting with the financial burdens associated with these types of debilitating injuries.

Our team of Silver Spring, Bowie, College Park, Landover, and Upper Marlboro Injury & Accident Attorneys are always available to help you when it comes to going over your legal options and deciphering the correct path towards receiving you or your loved one’s rightful compensation.

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