According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 150 Americans die every day from injuries related to traumatic brain injury (TBI). That’s not an insignificant casualty rate, especially because there are many ways people can protect themselves from becoming victims of TBI.
A traumatic brain injury is more or less exactly what it sounds like: an injury to the brain that is the result of some form of trauma. The CDC says such trauma can be anything from a bump to a blow, jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that causes some any manner of disruption to normal brain function.
Although one is fortunate to survive a TBI incident, they may experience effects from their injury that last anywhere from a few days to the rest of their lives.
Some of these effects may include:
- Impaired ability to recall established memories
- Inability to create new memories
- Impaired senses, such as visor or hearing
- Impaired motor functions
- Difficulty with processing or expressing emotions
- Dramatic changes in personality
For such serious consequences, the most common causes of TBI are alarmingly common and can happen under the most mundane circumstances. Falls, car accidents, and collisions between one’s head and an object are the leading causes of TBI, which may be concerning for how easily these events can happen to anyone at any time.
This is all the more reason why it’s important to take steps now to prevent brain injuries from happening as we go about our daily lives.
Always Wear a Helmet
If there is a helmet available to protect you during an activity, it’s for a reason – and may even be the law in some cases.
Common activities where wearing a helmet can make a difference are biking, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, horseback riding, and riding motorized vehicles like motorcycles, ATVs, dirtbikes, snowmobiles, jet skis, and more. Many organized sports such as football, hockey, softball, and baseball also commonly require helmets for either the duration of a game or a specific portion of it.
Children should never be permitted to risk a TBI by not wearing a helmet. The adults in a child’s life should always instruct the child to wear a helmet and be good role models by wearing them, too.
If a helmet takes the impact of a serious fall, it should be immediately discarded and replaced. While it may appear OK, fractures in the material that absorbed the impact could have developed and made it less likely to protect against another serious fall.
Always Wear a Seatbelt
The vast majority of states in the United States have mandatory seatbelt requirements for all occupants in a car, and there’s good reason for it.
The force of even a low-speed collision can send a person flying forward or to the sides. Without a seatbelt restraining how far their body can move, the risk increases of someone’s head making contact with a solid object such as the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, and or another part of the vehicle during a collision. At high speeds or in the event of a roll, a seatbelt can prevent an occupant from being thrown from the vehicle and striking their head against the pavement, another vehicle, or other hazards.
It’s also for all of these reasons that children who are still young enough to need a car or booster seat should still be using them. Children who are not old or big enough should also never ride in the front passenger seat of a vehicle.
Use Gripping Mats in the Bathroom
Slips and falls are the leading cause of injury in the United States, and many of them happen at home. One place where the risk is particularly high is in the bathroom. Before stepping into the show or tub, a gripping mat should be placed inside to help prevent a slip-and-fall accident while taking a shower or getting in and out of a bath. Immediately outside the fixture, another bathmat should be placed so that one can dry off and reduce the risk slipping on wet tile or linoleum.
Ensure the Security of Your Banisters
The entire purpose of banisters and handrails is to prevent falls, so they should be used at all times when going up or down the stairs in your home. If these fixtures are loose or broken, however, they may not be protecting anyone.
Once in a while, give these fixtures a moderate jiggle to assess how secure they may be to the wall or staircase. If you get the sense or can see that they won’t be keeping you and your family safe, act immediately to fix them. It might be as simple as tightening the assembly yourself, but you may need a professional to come out and replace them altogether if the problem is severe enough.
Use a Stair Gate for Young Children
Children are curious and not aware of the risk of falling down the stairs, which is all the more reason why parents should invest in childproof stair gates. For infants and toddlers as old as four years old, parents should be blocking access to the stairs whenever possible with childproof gates. These time-tested devices are easy to assembly, relatively inexpensive, and are designed to not damage your home when in use.
Have a Professional Do Your Home Improvements
A lot of people take pride in their homes and turning them into something even better than what they were at sale. While many home-improvement jobs and repairs aren’t too complicated, someone without the knowledge or experience on how to do them should think about hiring an expert.
This is because there are numerous scenarios where a home-improvement project can go horribly awry if someone isn’t experienced in how to safely use a ladder, power tools, or work in tight spaces with hard surfaces all around. Anything from a fall to an object sent flying by a misused tool can result in a serious TBI incident.
Were You or Someone You Love Injured?
If you or someone you love suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, Scarlett Law Group can help you fight for fair and just compensation.
Reach out to our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation by calling (415) 688-2176 or contacting us online.