Protecting your brain and spinal cord from injuries begins with prevention. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from injuring this critical part of your body.
The brain and spinal cord are critical structures that, if injured, can have profound effects, and knowing what protects the brain and spinal cord from injuries is the first step of prevention. The human brain is protected by the skull and the membranes surrounding the brain. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, the muscles and the ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place. In order to protect these areas from injury, it’s important to protect the head, neck, and back. Although most brain and spinal cord injuries result from accidents such as automobile crashes and accidental falls, safety precautions can help reduce the risk of major injury.
First, protect yourself while driving. Car crashes are a major source of brain and spinal cord damage. Always wear a seat belt in a car or a helmet on a motorcycle, and make sure all children are properly secured in their seats. If children are not old or large enough for a seat-belt, they should be properly restrained in an age-appropriate booster or child-safety seat. When driving, refrain from getting distracted whenever possible. Brain and spinal cord injuries often occur due to car accidents, so minimizing the risk of being in an accident is an important prevention tool. Avoid driving when upset, distracted by passengers, or taking calls or texting. Of course, never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Sports are another cause of brain and spinal cord injuries. When swimming or diving, always check water depth. Diving into a pool or water that is too shallow can cause head and neck injuries. When playing sports always wear the recommended safety gear. Avoid leading with the head when playing. For example, do not head the ball in soccer or use the top of the helmet in football. Protecting the head is an important component of protecting your brain and spinal cord. Certain sports are more dangerous, such as horseback riding, skateboarding and extreme sports of all kinds. These sports carry increased fall-risk, and they therefore put participants at greater risk for these types of injuries.
Be cautious with alcohol use. Of course, drinking and driving can significantly contribute to the risk of accident and a brain or spinal cord injury. Automobile accidents are a major cause of injury, and alcohol or drug use impairs the body and the brain. When one’s reflexes are compromised, injury is more likely.
Around The House
Protect yourself around the house. Slips and falls frequently occur in homes, so keeping clear walkways and unobstructed paths help reduce the risk of falling and sustaining injuries. In addition, know what to do if you or someone else has an accident.
What About Children?
Children should be protected from brain and spinal cord injury when playing on playground equipment or trampolines. Knowing what protects the brain and spinal cord from injuries can help protect children. Checking to make sure the equipment is secure, properly maintained, and age appropriate for the particular child’s skill level can help prevent accidents. Trampolines are a frequent cause of injury since children jump and fall; proper supervision and guidance can help protect children from injuring themselves or others as they play.
Always avoid moving someone who you suspect may have a brain or spinal cord injury. Call for help (Consider Cerebrum Health Centers) and wait until appropriate, trained help arrives.
Of course, not all brain and spinal cord injuries can be prevented. Most injuries occur due to accidents that happen due to unforeseen circumstances. But knowing how to protect yourself from brain and spinal cord injuries can help reduce risk.