A spokesman for the AANS, Dr. Gail Rosseau, said that "there needs to be greater awareness about the potentially devastating consequences of head and spinal cord injuries associated wtih sports and all involved need to take steps to prevent these types of injuries."
There were an estimated 446,788 sports-related head injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009. This number is 95,000 higher than the previous year with all of the top 20 sports reporting increases in head injuries. So, the AANS has released a list of prevention tips to keep children from experiencing head injuries while enjoying sports.
1.) Buy and use helmets or protective head gear approved by the ASTM International for specific sports 100% of the time. Helmets should be worn at all times for sports such as: cycling, football, hockey, horseback riding, inline skating, powered recreational vehicles, skateboards/scooters, skiing, snowboarding, and wrestling.
2.) Supervise younger children at all times and do not let them use sporting equipment or play sports unsuitable for their age.
3.) Do not dive in water less than 12 feet deep or in above-ground pools.
4.) Follow all rules at water parks and swimming pools.
5.) Wear appropriate clothing for the sport.
6.) Do not wear any clothing that can interfere with your vision.
7.) Do not participate in sports when you are ill or very tired.
8.) Obey all traffic signals, and be aware of drivers when cycling, skateboarding, or rollerblading.
9.) Avoid uneven or unpaved surfaces when cycling, skateboarding, or rollerblading.
10.) Perform regular safety checks of sports fields, playgrounds, and equipment.
11.) Discard and replace sporting equipment or protective gear that is damaged.
For more information about sports related injury and more prevention tips please visit http://www.aans.org/PatientInformation.aspx. Click on Conditions and Treatments and Patient Safety for more on sports-related injury prevention.
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