Brain Injury Awareness Month
March is Brain Injury Awareness month and to increase brain injury awareness in Huntsville, the Alabama Head Injury Foundation sponsored a float in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Members from local brain and spinal cord injury support groups braved the cold to raise awareness of brain injury and steps to prevent it.
Other organizations focused on raising brain injury awareness include the Brain Injury Association and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. Their message is simple:
Think Ahead and learn the common causes of TBI, so you can take steps to prevent TBI during everyday activities, at work, while playing sports, or during a deployment. Safety measures you should take before getting on a bicycle or motorcycle, driving and playing sports include:
Wear a helmet (and make sure your children wear helmets) when you:
- Ride a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter or all-terrain vehicle
- Participate in a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey or boxing
- Use in-line skates or a skateboard
- Play baseball, softball, football or lacrosse
- Ride a horse
- Ski or snowboard
- Zip line, rock climb, bungee jump, hang glide or participate in any other activity that involves heightsWear a seat belt... of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications.
Wear a seat belt...
Every time you drive or ride in a car, truck or other motor vehicle, wear a seat belt. Small children should always sit in the back seats of cars, away from airbags, and use safety seats or booster seats appropriate for their size and weight (according to state laws).
Never drive while vision-impaired or under the influence...
of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications.
Prevent falls by:
- Clearing tripping hazards such as loose rugs, uneven flooring or walkway clutter
- Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors, and installing grab bars next to the toilet, tub and shower
- Installing handrails on both sides of stairways
- Improving lighting throughout the home
- Exercising according to your doctor's instructions to improve lower-body strength and balance
Make living areas safer for children by:
- Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs
- Installing window guards at open windows
- Making sure that your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand
- Supervising children carefully, especially when they're near water
Know the signs:
Concussion, also known as mild Traumatic Brain Injury, often goes undetected or undiagnosed initially because the symptoms can be subtle and varied. Think Ahead to recognize mild TBI by learning common signs and symptoms.
- Headaches or neck pain that do not go away;
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions;
- Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading;
- Getting lost or easily confused;
- Feeling tired all of the time, having no energy or motivation;
- Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason);
- Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping);
- Light-headedness, dizziness, or loss of balance;
- Urge to vomit (nausea);
- Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, or distractions;
- Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily;
- Loss of sense of smell or taste; and
- Ringing in the ears.
If you think you, or someone else you know, has a TBI, please Think Ahead and seek medical help as quickly as possible to improve chances of a full and complete recovery.
Therapy Achievements helps people with brain injury recover function after brain injury. Our staff has extensive experience working with brain injury after trauma, stroke, or medical conditions that impact brain function. We offer physical, occupational and speech therapy to help people re-gain balance, the ability to walk, and hand function. We provide visual and cognitive re-training, training in activities of daily living and identify adaptive equipment to help people re-gain the ability to participate in functional activities. Programs are tailored to an individual's needs and we are in-network with most health insurance providers. Have you or someone you know suffered from brain injury? Call us today at 256-509-4398.