March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. The trauma experts at SolutionHealth are offering tips to help prevent these injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects millions of people each year. Every nine seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury, and more than 5.3 million Americans are living with brain injury related disabilities according to the U.S. Department of Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Data shows that the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls ((47.9%), struck by/against (17.1%), unknown (13.2%), motor vehicle (13.2%), and assaults (8.3%), that’s according to the Brain Injury Association.

“Traumatic brain injuries are a public health issue in New Hampshire,” Julie Phelan, RN, MS, CPHRM, Injury Prevention Coordinator at The Elliot, says. “In New Hampshire, people aged 15 to 24 and 75 and older are at greatest risk.”

Phelan says implementing these simple safety measures will help reduce your risk of traumatic brain injuries:

  • Wear your seatbelt every time you’re in a vehicle
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Wear helmets on roadways
  • Wear helmets while playing sports
  • Store firearms unloaded and locked away (with ammunition stored separately)
  • Install safety features in your home
  • Participate in an exercise balance program to help avoid falls

Your health care provider can also play an important role in assessing if you’re at increased risk, such as those at risk for suicide, unintentional motor vehicle crashes, unintentional falls, at risk for violence, drownings, and drug overdoses. They can also provide education to children, teens, and adults to help them develop safe habits and lower their risk for a traumatic brain injury.