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National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month

14 January 2019

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January 2019 is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month.

Across the world, sports such as skiing and snowboarding, are hugely popular in Winter months. And while Winter sports can be enjoyable, they can end in disaster if they are practiced without the correct equipment or without following safety procedures.

This month calls attention to the importance of enjoying Winter sports responsibly. Hopefully making people aware of the precautionary measures they should take when participating in sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hockey, and snowmobiling.

Tips to minimize injury to the head when playing Winter sports:

  • Purchase and wear a properly fitted helmet - Helmets help to reduce the severity of a TBI during Winter sports.
  • Replace your helmet after a serious fall - Many helmets are only made to withstand a single impact.
  • Better safe than sorry - If someone falls or is struck on the head, ensure they take a break. Even if it seems mild. Best practice involves getting cleared by a doctor before playing any sports after a head injury.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks - If it’s your first time on a ski slope, stay clear of the Black Diamonds! Invest in some lessons, and know your limitations.

Speaking of lessons... If you’re going ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding, basic lessons help you learn techniques on how to fall more safely and less often.

The Cleveland Clinic has published a guide on concussion. Extracted below is a guide on the symptoms and warning signs of a concussion.

Because problems can arise in the first 24 to 48 hours after a head injury, anyone suspected of sustaining a concussion should be monitored for worsening symptoms, including:

  • Repetitive nausea or vomiting
  • Progressively worsening headache
  • Pupils that are enlarged or unequal in size
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Unusual or bizarre behavior
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Inability to recognize people or places
  • Excessive drowsiness or fainting
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe dizziness
  • Difficulty waking from sleep

If you have any concerns at all after a head injury, seek medical attention immediately.

Be sure to have fun if you are taking part in any sports this Winter, and please ensure to take precautions to avoid Traumatic Brain Injury.

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