Childhood is a time of exploration, growth and boundless energy. While it is natural for kids to engage in vigorous physical activities, parents and caregivers must stay aware of the potential for traumatic brain injuries.
Learning when little ones are most likely to develop a TBI is the first step toward realizing a safer world.
Despite their appeal, outdoor play spaces pose a significant risk for tumbles. Climbing structures, swings and slides place little ones in precarious situations. Absent proper supervision, they may drop from relatively significant heights and land sharply on their heads.
Participation in athletics is an excellent way for youth to develop coordination and learn about teamwork. However, these pursuits also carry the chance of ending in a TBI. Collisions and impacts from sports equipment, such as hockey and lacrosse sticks, can easily lead to head-related troubles. For this reason, proper safety gear, supervision and adherence to sports regulations are mandatory.
Cycling offers children a taste of independence. That said, two-wheeled vehicles, even those without motors, impose inherent dangers. Riding on busy streets vastly increases the likelihood of accidents. Should there be a collision or spill where the rider is not wearing protective headgear, a TBI could result. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, policies requiring those on bicycles to wear helmets are responsible for a 20% to 55% reduction in head injuries.
Preventing TBIs in young people requires combining awareness with parental monitoring and proactive safety measures. Adults must seize the initiative in creating secure environments where boys and girls may thrive without worrying about such peril.