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Take these steps to make it less likely you’ll get a concussion.

Brain injuries are a serious thing. Whether you get a relatively small bump on your head or are involved in a more traumatic injury, the health of your brain is at stake. And while you can’t prevent every possibility that may cause an injury to your brain, there are steps you can take to keep your brain as protected as possible.

Concussions are the most talked about type of brain injury because they are the most common type of head injury affecting people both young and old. They are caused by some type of outside force to the head, such as a bump, strike or jolt. They may also be caused by trauma to the body that causes the head to rapidly move back and forth. A concussion may be referred to by healthcare personnel as a mild form of traumatic brain injury, since it doesn’t typically result in death, but these injuries can be anything but mild.

What are the most common causes of concussion?

You may think of concussions as something that only happens during sports, since we see them occurring quite often on a playing field or court. But concussions may occur due to other traumas, too. One common cause of concussion is falls, especially in older adults. Being in a motor vehicle accident is another common cause. Intentionally or unintentionally being struck by something or having your head hit an object can also cause injury to the brain.

How can you protect your brain from injury?

There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll never get a concussion in your life. But there are steps you can take to make it less likely that your brain, as well as the brains of your children or parents, will sustain serious injury.  Doing these things helps to protect your brain:

  • Sports and physical activities – Wear appropriate headgear when playing sports, such as football, hockey or baseball, or participating in physical activities such as skating, snowboarding, skiing or rock climbing.
  • Moving vehicles or objects – Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorized cycle, scooter, skateboard, snowmobile or horse.
  • Motor vehicles – Wear a seat belt every time you’re in a motor vehicle. Seat belts should be worn in both the front and back seats, no matter how short a trip you are going on – even if it’s just down the street. Secure children in car seats or booster seats until they reach the maximum weight or height limit. Children under 12 should always ride in the back seat.
  • Falls – There are a number of ways you can prevent falls. These include:
    • Doing strength and balance exercises
    • Walking, getting up from a chair and getting in and out of vehicles slowly
    • Paying attention to your surroundings
    • Not stretching awkwardly for things out of reach
    • Making sure your home is well-lit
    • Removing items in your home that you may trip over
    • Installing grab bars in the bathroom
    • Placing non-slip mats on floors that may get wet
    • Getting eyes checked yearly
    • Reviewing medications to see if any may make you dizzy or sleepy

Taking preventative measures to protect your brain as much as possible makes it less likely you’ll have to face the consequences of a serious head injury.

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Date Last Reviewed: January 17, 2024

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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