Among the most devastating of traumatic accidents are those involving head injuries. The scalp has a rich network of blood vessels, so even minor blows or cuts can result in bleeding and/or bruising that is not easily treated. Internal head injuries are far more severe and difficult to spot. They may result in bruising or bleeding of the brain.
Strategies to reduce the risk of head trauma must begin with an accounting of the most likely circumstances. Any injury to the head requires prompt observation and treatment by a medical professional.
When Does Head Trauma Occur Most Often?
Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and permanent disability. Cases are especially prevalent among young adults and children. The most common settings for these industries include the automobile, bicycle and home. Sporting activities are another setting with such activities as skating, skateboarding and contact sports.
Auto accidents are the leading source of head injuries. Many fail to realize that head injuries are also the leading risk for bicyclists.
Auto Protection Measures
Primary prevention of head trauma in auto accidents begins with the seatbelt and air bags. Infants and children with developmental disability require a special form of car safety seat that restrains the head with padding designed to absorb energy. Proper placement of children in the vehicle is necessary. According to transportation research, children seated in the rear of the vehicle are up to 40 percent less likely to sustain injuries of any type.
Australian researchers categorized the sources of head trauma in an effort to identify the most effective preventions and quantify the benefits of proposed preventions. They found an opportunity for manufacturers to reduce rate of head injury significantly by installation of padding in the vehicle’s upper interior. As with bicycles, however, the greatest benefit was seen with use of protective headgear. Even an energy-absorbing headband covering the forehead and sides of the skull provided substantial protection.
When Are Helmets Appropriate?
Whether it’s a spill due to lack of attention or collision with a motor vehicle, bicycle accidents present a high risk of head trauma. Most cases are entirely preventable with the use of a safety helmet, according to a Cochrane Collaboration review. Bicyclists of all ages saw a 66 to 88 percent reduction in the risk of head and brain injury. This was true for accidents from all causes.
Options for protective headgear include hard-shell and soft-shell helmets. Potential speed during the accident determines the selection of headgear. Energy-absorbing headbands offer only minimal protection outside the confines of a seatbelt. Helmets should be worn while cycling, skating, boarding or playing any contact sport.
Home Design for Safety
The home is a leading site for many types of accident. The elderly and children under the age of 14 are at greatest risk of traumatic head injury in the home. Many of these injuries are easily prevented with attention to problem areas and simple modifications.
The bathroom and kitchen are generally tiled and very slick when wet. Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower is particularly hazardous. This is easily remedied with grip bars, no-slip inserts and a bathroom rug. Similar additions for the kitchen are also beneficial. Padding on hard edges and sharp surfaces can further reduce the risk of head trauma and brain injury in the home.
When faced with brain or spine injuries due to another person’s negligence, a certified personal injury lawyer can help you with your case. Be sure to consult with an attorney to see what the best action to take for your case is.