Head off concussions

Think of a concussion, and you might picture football players clashing helmets. While concussions are most commonly seen in contact sports, they also occur in everyday situations.

“Not every hit to the head causes a concussion, and not every concussion is caused by a hit to the head,” said Christopher Pitcock, MD, a family and sports medicine physician with Baptist Health Medical Group in Louisville.

The brain is surrounded by spinal fluid that protects it from hitting the skull. But when the head or body is whipped from one direction to another – as in a car or bike accident, a fall, or sports –  the brain can crash into the skull, causing a concussion.

Concussions can’t always be prevented, but follow these tips to help stay safe:

  • Always wear a seat belt, and make sure that children using a seat belt or the appropriate care seat for their age and size.
  • Always wear a helmet when participating in activities like biking and playing sports.
  • Add safety gates, window guards and bathtub mats to make your home safer for kids.
  • For seniors, help prevent falls by removing tripping hazards and installing safety equipment, such as handrails and bathroom grab bars.

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