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Traumatic Brain Injury - More Common Than You Think

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, March 19, 2009 5:21 PM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Traumatic Head Injury, Sports Injuries, Vacation Safety, Skiing Injury, Helmets

The fit of a helmet is important to avoid brain injury. 



IMAGE SOURCE:  True Fit Web site 

Following the death of Natasha Richardson from what initially appeared to be a minor head injury, some frightening statistics remind us that trauma to the head, if you survive, can be long lasting.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is more common than you think. 

It is the number one cause of death and disability among children and young adults, according to the Brain Injury Resource Foundation (BIRF), a resource on brain injuries for survivors. 

In the U.S., roughly 1.5 to 2 million people incur TBI primarily in vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence and sports accidents.  50,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

15-to-24 year olds and those over 75 are the most likely to be affected.

Among sports, football has the highest rate of concussion with an estimated 100,000 injuries annually.

While more people are surviving TBI, due to faster emergency care, TBI is the leading cause of long-term disability among children and young adults. 

More prevalent in males than females, TBI may result in lifelong impairment of physical, cognitive, and social functioning and is a major public health problems.

Children and TBI

When Susan was seven-years-old she was hit by a car while riding her bike. She broke an arm and leg but also suffered a traumatic brain injury. 

Life was never the same for Susan. She cannot remember things, has trouble findings words and reading is hard for her. 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to an injury acquired after birth. It manifests itself long after the bones have healed.

In school, students such as Susan may have difficulty thinking and reasoning and paying attention.  Problem solving may be difficult as well as thinking abstractly. They may have behavior problems.

With more than one million children brain injured each year, approximately 30,000 youngsters have lifelong disabilities and may be considered emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded, says BIRF.   

Fitting Helmets

Most parents believe if they put a helmet on the child’s head, they’ve done their job.

Safe Kids Worldwide  finds one in three kids do not wear their helmet correctly, which means it may not protect the way it should.

The group reports many helmets have a “false “ fit, meaning they are too far forward, too far back or unbuckled, making them less likely to absorb impact. 

The organization gathered data that helped develop the True Fit bicycle helmets (Bell Sports) which make adjusting a helmet to a true fit easier for adults and kids.  #


Posted by barry morse
Friday, March 20, 2009 6:03 AM EST

LINK , a free site, can be used for educational rehabilitation purposes for stroke and TBI patients. It’s logical, color coded, repetitive functions have been accepted as a method for retraining and helping to reopen neural pathways.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
Thank You, Barry. I looked at the site and even did a trial run. I will email this information to our Health Resource Consultants and put it in our knowledge base for future inquiries.

Anonymous User
Posted by Paul Ford
Saturday, March 21, 2009 9:43 PM EST

I fell in love with cycling while watching Greg Lemond win the Tour de France. Yet, I was in law school and could not afford to purchase a bike. One of the first things I bought for myself after getting out of law school was a bike. I purchased it from a well respected bike shop in Memphis, Tennessee. I remember, as if it was yesterday, asking the sales clerk "How much of the cycling stuff do I really need to buy?" I didn't want to tell her I was broke!

Her reply has never left me...."You need to get the proper gear for every place you touch the bike and every place you do not want to hit the road." In other words....a helmet.

I bought a helmet. And good thing I did. I have had more than one major crash, on of which would have undoubtedly cost me my life but for the helmet I was wearing.

Thus, I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear one. And wearing one that does not properly fit is tantamount to not wearing one. A simple word of advice....but one at a true bike shop and the staff there should be more than happy to work with you to properly adjust the straps so that it fits properly. It may very well save your life. It did mine!!

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