Mild traumatic brain injury may be more of a risk in contact sports, but a simple accident can result in concussion anywhere, including in your own home. Take a proactive approach to concussion prevention with information.

Here are 3 facts about concussion prevention everyone should be aware of:

  1. Falls are the leading cause of concussion in the US.

One way to prevent concussions is to minimize the risk of falls, particularly for those in the two most vulnerable age groups: seniors and small children.

Guard against seniors falling by recognizing their needs for help doing activities that have become difficult for them. Tasks such as changing light bulbs, climbing steps, and getting in and out of the shower are easy to overlook as potential fall risks. Seniors may not be aware of how much help they really need to prevent injuries, or they may be reluctant to ask for it. Spend time with older individuals and give them the support they need, either directly or through professional caregivers, to stay safe. If you need help having a conversation with a senior about the need for assistance with daily tasks, consult with a professional home care agency for guidance and support.

Infants, toddlers and preschoolers are at risk for head injury as the result of falls, because they haven’t yet developed good body control. ‘Baby-proofing’ isn’t just for toddlers; precautions should be taken to prevent dangerous falls for children age 5 and under. Stair gates are a must for young children.

  1. Protective headgear and mouth guards do not fully safeguard against concussion.

Never assume that a concussion can’t occur simply because you’re wearing appropriate headgear. A bike helmet for example does not guarantee you won’t suffer a concussion as a result of a bicycling accident.

Anytime a head injury or accident involving jolt or significant jar to the body occurs, be on the lookout for potential signs of concussion. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to seeking an evaluation from a medical professional after an injury.

  1. Proper use of car seats and sea tbelts can prevent concussions.

Proper safety precautions when riding in vehicles are required by law for a reason. Whiplash is a leading cause of concussions that occur as a result of auto accidents. It doesn’t take much for a concussion to happen. Watch for signs of concussion after a sudden stop or minor car accident, even if seatbelts and car seats were in proper use.  

A functional neurologist can assist with a comprehensive evaluation of brain function following a head injury, and can provide effective post-concussion therapeutic support if needed. You may also seek out a pre-concussion evaluation for yourself or loved ones who are at heightened risk for concussion due to occupation, sports play, age, or another factor. Establishing a baseline can be helpful in future evaluations should a head injury occur.