The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has issued advice aimed at preventing head injuries for children, with special attention to those who play sports regularly. A spokesperson says there needs to be greater awareness of the consequences of sports-related head and spinal cord injuries.
Approximately 446,788 sports-related head injuries were reported as being treated in US hospital emergency rooms in 2009. Additionally, the top 20 sports reported increases in head injuries. For this reason, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons has published a list of tips focused on prevention, trying to prevent children from suffering head injuries while playing sports.
The tips are as follows:
- Purchase and wear helmets or other relevant protective headgear approved by ASTM International. Make sure the helmet and protective gear are appropriate for the sport. Some examples of sports with potential impacts and injuries are cycling, soccer, hockey, horseback riding, in-line skating, skateboarding/rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding, and wrestling.
- It is important to supervise children at all times and restrict their participation in sports or the use of sports equipment not suitable for their age.
- The adults in charge must prevent children from submerging in bodies of water deeper than 12 feet. It is crucial to confirm that children always have contact with the ground.
- Follow all the rules in water parks and swimming pools.
- Ensure that children wear appropriate clothing for sports.
- Ensure that children do not wear accessories or clothing that may interfere with their vision.
- Prevent children from participating in sports when they are sick or exhausted.
- Respect all traffic signs and be cautious of drivers when kids are riding bikes, skateboards, or rollerblades.
- Avoid games or activities on uneven or unpaved surfaces. You should be especially careful when riding a bike, skateboard, or rollerblades.
- Discard and/or replace sports equipment or damaged protective equipment.