Summer is the most fun time of the year for many. Students are out enjoying the sun and freedom, parents are doing work around the home and garden, riding motor cycles or bicycles, and going to festivals and arts fairs. Everyone is active.
Because everyone is out and about, the summer is also one of the peak times of year for traumatic brain injuries. Children are in football camps, bicycles are pulled out of the garage, and pools are full of people. It isn’t that surprising that injuries increase, but it is sad that so many of them are preventable. According to the Sun-Telegraph, as many as 85 percent of TBI cases could have been prevented with intervention or education.
These brain injuries can cause communication problems, memory deficiencies, cognitive impairment, and vision problems, as well as the common nausea and headaches associated with the injuries. The most common assumption is that loss of consciousness is the key identifier of concussions or TBI, but in actuality they occur in ten percent of less of all concussions. Headache, dizziness, and vomiting are much better indicators that an injury has occurred.
Following the proper safety protocol for all your summer activities is absolutely key to preventing TBI. Wearing a seat belt in cars is not only a good idea, but it is the law, and wearing a bicycle helmet quite possibly is too depending on where you live. Similarly, many brain injuries are caused by slipping while running around pools or diving when into shallow water. Always follow the posted safety rules at your local pool and know any public lakes or rivers you may be playing in before diving.
Youth athletes are in a slightly tougher situation as they are going through training camps and tryouts, so there is a lot of pressure to play through pain and appear indestructible, but a single brain injury can do permanent damage. Repeated concussions are exponentially more dangerous the closer they occur to the first incident. If your child complains of any of the symptoms, take them to a medical professional before allowing them to return to play.