Recently the National Football League and other professional sports leagues have come under fire as a result of studies linking concussions to more serious brain damage. This topic provides a great opportunity to talk to your own kids about the importance of concussion safety. Everyone knows about the dangers of contact sports, but really you have to stay vigilant at all times. As all parents know, kids hurt themselves in a truly baffling variety of ways. An organization called Heads Up Parents has put together a great resource with a wide variety of safety tips and articles to help keep your kids safe.
The most important thing you as a parent can do is be able to recognize the signs of a concussion. An untreated concussion can be very dangerous if there is swelling inside the skull. Furthermore, if a child with a concussion goes back into the game and gets hit in the head again the results could be devastating. Potential symptoms of a concussion include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, slow thinking, and sensitivity to noise and light. A child displaying any of these symptoms needs medical treatment as soon as possible.
Bike riding is one of the most common causes of head injury for kids. Bicycle safety is all about prevention. You need to make sure your child’s bike is in good working order, and their clothing isn’t loose or dangling. Some of the worst bike accidents are caused when an untied shoelace gets caught in the chain, pitching the child over the handlebars. Finally and most importantly, your child should be wearing a helmet each and every time they climb onto their bike. The difference in injuries and deaths between kids with and without helmets is absolutely staggering.
Helmets are also very important in certain sporting activities. A helmet that is poorly fitted or tightened may be providing very little protection. If a head injury does occur on a sporting field, the guiding principle should always be “when in doubt, sit them out.”
Another common source of head injuries is playground equipment. Most modern playgrounds have guardrails and safety features, and are built above soft mulch or sand. However, some older equipment may be much easier for kids to fall off, and may be built atop hard dirt or even blacktop. Old playground equipment can also fall apart under the weight of an enthusiastic child, leading to an awkward fall.
If you would like more information and tips on how to prevent head injuries, just follow the link: http://www.headsupparents.org/safety_tips.html.
About the Author: Jamie Kessel is a personal injury lawyer with the law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen. He primarily works out of the Short Pump and Richmond offices. Jamie is experienced in handling complex personal injury cases involving child care injuries, distracted driving, brain injury, and wrongful deaths.
To learn more about preventing childhood brain injuries, please visit the Allen & Allen website.