Alden Health ServicesSarah Dooley RN,NCSN
MARCH IS BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTHAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, two million children a year visit hospital emergency rooms with Traumatic Brain Injuries.Brain Injury Awareness Month, recognized each March, provides an important opportunity to bring attention to the prevention of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to promote strategies to improve the quality of life for persons living with TBI and their families.
1. CONCUSSIONS HAPPEN OFTEN!
Did you know that someone in this country will suffer from a concussion every 9 seconds? That’s a lot! How does this happen so often? Sudden bumps or jolts can cause the brain to bounce back and forth in the skull, causing injuries of varying degrees. Concussions are TBIs that can cause functional changes in the way our brains work. Concussions most often occur as a result of blows to the head during: Sports activities, car accidents and slips and falls. You can also incur a concussion from simple household mishaps such as walking into a door and banging your head.
2. CONCUSSION SYMPTOMS
TBIs can cause the symptoms you might expect such as headaches and/or migraines, dizziness, nausea, ringing in the ears, vision problems. Unfortunately, concussions can sometimes go undetected because their symptoms may not appear related to a head injury. These symptoms can include: difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety and slow reaction time. Most individuals who experience concussions will fully recover within a few days or weeks.
3. ANYONE CAN SUFFER A CONCUSSION
We tend to think about head injuries as they relate to youth sports and professional athletes, but older adults also face high risks of concussion, often simply from falling.
4. HELMETS PREVENT HEAD INJURIES
Brain Injury Awareness Month is a great time to remind everyone to wear their helmets. Studies consistently indicate that all of us can decrease our risk of having a concussion by wearing a helmet while riding a bike or playing some high risk sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey and skateboarding. Helmet-wearing should become second nature to children so they develop this good habit for life.
5. SCREEN TIME IMPACTS CONCUSSION RECOVERY
Data suggests that avoiding screen time in the first 48 hours of acute-concussion recovery may greatly shorten the duration of concussion symptoms, allowing for important cognitive brain rest.