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Protecting Youth Against Preventable Brain Injury This Summer

As the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, the natural inclination is to spend more time outdoors. Between summer sports and social gatherings, there’s no shortage of activities to participate in.

Unfortunately, with the rising temperatures comes plenty of situations that could result in a catastrophic injury. When it comes to keeping youth safe, awareness can go a long way.

According to Brain Trust Canada, brain injury is the leading killer and cause of disability for people under the age of 35. Within that age group, traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects young men aged 16-24 the most. While some instances of brain injury are unforeseeable and unavoidable, many could have been prevented.

Preventing Brain Injury In Sports

Recreational activities and sporting events are the perfect way to spend a summer day. They can also set the stage for a devastating accident. When participating in sports or other outdoor activities, there are a few simple measures to help stay safe.

  • Play By The Rules- not only do sports and game rules help ensure fair play, they serve as an effective way to help prevent injury. From using the right type of ball to observing speed limits, obeying guidelines is critical.
  • Respect Limits- Pushing boundaries and expanding skills are part of the fun but knowing one’s limits is important. Engaging in activities that are exceedingly risky or beyond a skill or training level can have dangerous consequences.
  • Wear A Helmet- Data suggests that helmets help reduce up to 85% of brain injuries. Given the evidence supporting proper use of helmets, there should be no excuse not to wear one.
  • Get Help Quickly- If there is any concern that a young person has sustained a brain injury, seek medical treatment immediately. A seemingly mild concussion can have long-lasting effects so it is important to get help as soon as possible.

Preventing Brain Injury In Social Situations

Long nights go hand in hand with parties and other gatherings which often involve alcohol and drug use. The force of a car accident can result in traumatic brain injury, causing irreversible damage in an instant.

Young people should be made well-aware of the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. They also need to understand that texting or otherwise being distracted while driving can result in tragedy. Empowering youth to make intelligent decisions is critical, especially when their lives are on the line.

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