Protect your child from brain injuries

January 22, 2010 4:40:31 PM PST
Steps you can take to help avoid a devastating accident.

Protect your child from a head injury:

  1. A fall from as little as 2 feet can result in a tramautic brain injury, install window guards on all windows and mounted gates at staircases. Also, install locks on sliding glass doors leading to balconies and decks.

  2. Teens are less likely than any other age group to not wear their seat belt, there is a new product on the market that will prevent the car from starting if the seatbelt is not engaged.

  3. Sports and recreational activity contribute to 21% of brain injuries. Mouth guards reduce the risk of a concussion by dissipating the blow to the lower jaw.

  4. Wheel-related toys are another cause of traumatic brain injuries. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury as much as 88 percent.

  5. Scientists are on the verge of breakthrough science for reversing brain injuries. Banking baby's cord blood is insurance for the future - in case traumatic brain accidents happen
MORE INFORMATION ON TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY:
Often called an "invisible epidemic," traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a devastating and costly health problem. Every 21 seconds a person in the U.S. suffers a TBI, most often as the result of a motor vehicle crash, fall or recreational sporting activity.

According to the CDC, for children 0- 14 years of age, TBI results in nearly 2,700 deaths and 435,000 visits to the emergency room annually.

A brain injury epidemic is occurring among young athletes. In high school alone, more than 400,000 concussions occurred in both contact and non-contact sports.

Cheerleading accounts for 65.1 percent of all catastrophic sports injuries female athletes have incurred over the past 25 years and has the second highest rate for concussions and traumatic brain injuries behind only football It's vital that parents recognize the serious issue of concussions in young athletes leading to traumatic brain injury. Both coaches and parents need to be aware of the problems that can arise when an athlete is put back in the game before he or she is ready. ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system that many towns are now using.

With the Winter Olympics beginning shortly, kids will be exposed to a variety of great sports that they'll want to try out but be sure that they are properly geared up, take lessons and not try stunts that are beyond their abilities.

For children 0 - 4 years of age, the leading cause of TBIs is falls. A fall from as little as 2 feet can result in a TBI. When changing your baby's diaper, keep one hand on her at all times and be sure to secure the changing pad to the table. The rule of thumb is to switch your baby to a toddler bed once she's 31" tall to reduce the risk of her falling out of the crib. Be sure to install window guards on all windows and mounted gates at staircases. Also, install locks on sliding glass doors leading to balconies and decks. Also, be sure any furniture is moved away from windows or stair railing which could be used as leverage. In 2008, about 3,500 teens in the United States aged 15-19 were killed and more than 350,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes. In Connecticut, 60% of TBIs among 15 - 19 years olds were the result of a car accident. In a study conducted by NHTSA, they found that the use of seat belts reduced the risk of TBI by 70%. Unfortunately, teens are less likely than any other age group to not wear their seat belt. There is a new product, Life Belt (http://www.nobucklenostart.com) on the market that will prevent a car from starting if the seatbelt is not engaged and, once the car is started, will turn the radio down and sound a 50 db alarm if a seatbelt is disengaged.

Wheel-related toys are another cause of traumatic brain injuries. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury as much as 88 percent. This includes scooters, skateboards and bicycles. (there's a right and wrong helmet fit!)

About Alison Rhodes, The Safety Mom
As one of the country's leading child safety authorities, Rhodes provides tips and advice to parents on a broad range of issues. Her engaging manner and ability to connect with moms on a real level has made her a sought-after speaker and media personality. She has been featured on numerous television segments discussing child safety, health and wellness and the benefits of "going green" including The Today Show, Good Morning America Now, ABC World News Tonight, NBC's Open House, Court TV, Oxygen's The Gayle King Show, PBS' Keeping Kids Healthy, Discovery Health's Runway Moms, CNN and CNBC. Rhodes has also been featured in a variety of publications and websites including American Baby Magazine, Parents, BabyTalk, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Parenting.com, SheKnows.com and Expectant Mother Magazine. She is the safety expert on clubmom.com, one of the leading online destinations for moms.

Both her newsletter, The Safety Scoop, and blog, The Safety Chronicles, reach thousands of moms per month. As a child safety expert, Rhodes is a frequent guest speaker at corporations, schools, moms' groups, day cares, and hospitals, focusing on how to prevent accidents in and around the home, as well as issues including online predators, eating disorders, and over-the-counter drug abuse. She is a former member of the board of directors for First Candle, the national organization focusing on SIDS and other infant deaths, as well as founder of the Connecticut SIDS Alliance. She also serves on the Special Education Parent Advisory Board in her local community. Website: http://www.thesafetymom.com


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