We’ve heard a lot about Congresswomen Gabby Giffords’ traumatic brain injury (TBI) after she was tragically shot in January this year. But today, I’d like to focus on more common TBI’s – concussions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC),
- An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year of which about 75% are concussions
- Each year, US emergency departments treat about 135,000 sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions, for children from 5-18.
- Athletes who have ever had a concussion are at an increased risk for another concussion.
- Children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.
We hear about concussions in the NFL a lot and the ever increasing body of literature out there on the effects of concussions in these players is troubling. But all sports from figure skating, to bicycling, to volleyball, to skiing, and many others, pose risks for concussions. And not just sports, car accidents, falls, home improvement blunders among other daily activities can lead to concussions. It’s important for all of us to recognize the signs of concussions so that we can seek treatment and let our brains heal.
One more note: Wear helmets even if they mess up your hair and aren’t “cool”. Wear seat belts even if driving for short distances. And don’t try to “tough it out” if you hit your head.
For information on signs and symptoms of concussions, treatment for concussions and further information on TBIs go to: