Follow these tips to reduce the risk of brain injury:

  • Seat belts and airbags. Always wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle. Small children should always sit in the back seat of a car and be secured in child safety seats or booster seats that are appropriate for their size and weight.
  • Alcohol and drug use. Don't drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications that can impair the ability to drive.
  • Helmets. Wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard, motorcycle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle. Also wear appropriate head protection when playing baseball or contact sports, skiing, skating, snowboarding or riding a horse.

Preventing falls

The following tips can help older adults avoid falls around the house:

  • Install handrails in bathrooms
  • Put a nonslip mat in the bathtub or shower
  • Remove area rugs
  • Install handrails on both sides of staircases
  • Improve lighting in the home
  • Keep stairs and floors clear of clutter
  • Get regular vision checkups
  • Get regular exercise

Preventing head injuries in children

The following tips can help children avoid head injuries:

  • Install safety gates at the top of stairs
  • Keep stairs clear of clutter
  • Install window guards to prevent falls
  • Put a nonslip mat in the bathtub or shower
  • Use playgrounds that have shock-absorbing materials on the ground
  • Make sure area rugs are secure
  • Don't let children play on fire escapes or balconies
Oct. 12, 2012