Protect Your Brain from Hard Knocks

bicycle safetyProtect Your Brain from Hard Knocks

Annually, a whopping 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury. Seventy five percent of these injuries were on the “mild” side in the form of concussions—though no concussion is truly “mild”. When multiple concussion-delivering blows to the head are experienced throughout life, victims can suffer from headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, depression, early dementia, and even be driven to commit suicide as a result of these “mild” insults.

Your brain is actually a very soft, delicate organ which is encased in a very hard shell—your skull. Sounds good so far; but when you realize that the inside of your “brain case” is lined with many sharp, bony points, you begin to understand the grave danger your mental muscle faces when violently jostled in such a unforgiving environment.

Here are some wise steps you can take to protect your brain (or your child’s brain) from “unnecessary roughness”.

Choose your sport wisely— Recent studies have found that, next to football players, girl soccer players experience the greatest number of head injuries among young people. You must consider the risk to yourself (or to your child) when you sign up for highly competitive contact sports and judge accordingly.

Always wear your seat belt—Before you put your car in drive, when you hop in the back of a cab, or when you are on a bus make sure you buckle up for better brain health. Your brain is no match for your dashboard, windshield or the hard seat in front of you.

Don’t ride or glide without a helmet—A number of years ago I lost a 20 year old patient of mine to a skateboarding/head trauma ordeal. Too many needless deaths or cases of permanent brain damage result from neglecting to use head gear. Please, for the sake of your brain and your life, use a secured helmet when you are recreating on wheels or blades (motorcycle, bike, skateboard, inline skates, wave boards, ice skating, skiing or snowboarding, etc).

Use caution when diving—Never dive into a body of water without knowing for sure how deep it is! The depth of water considered safe for headlong diving is 9 feet.

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