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January is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month


January is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, sports injuries are rarely fatal, but the majority of fatalities due to sports injury are the result of traumatic brain injury.  Traumatic Brain Injury is an injury to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. These injuries can range from mild, such as a concussion, to severe.

Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents.

Winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, snowmobiling, and even sledding can be high risk.  However, serious head injuries from winter sports are often preventable.

Tips for Prevention:
  1. Wear a Helmet
  2. Stay in Designated Areas
  3. Use Proper Technique
  4. Get in Shape
  5. Avoid Risky Behavior
  6. Know your limits
  7. Learn how to fall
  8. Stop when you’re tired
Become familiar with the signs and symptoms of a possible concussion or other head injury.  If you or someone you know hits their head during a winter sport activity, make sure they remove themselves from the activity to prevent further impact to the head.  If serious symptoms are present, seek medical attention right away.

Be sure to notify your child’s school (nurse, registrar, counselor) if they have had any injury so school staff can adjust work for them if needed and let you know if they notice any changes in their physical or mental health.

Signs of Concussion: headache, dizziness, confusion, sensitivity to light/noise, nausea, feeling slowed down, blurred or double vision

For more information:
The Johnny O Alzheimer's, Dementia, and TBI Awareness Foundation