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Home News We can all take steps to prevent childhood traumatic brain injury
David Barre
(505) 699-9237 Office

We can all take steps to prevent childhood traumatic brain injury

March 13, 2024 - Injury Prevention - Awareness

SANTA FE – Brain Injury Awareness Month, recognized each March, provides an opportunity to raise awareness of traumatic brain injury (TBI) prevention and improve the quality of life for those impacted by TBI. 

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish are recognizing Brain Injury Awareness Month by promoting prevention of childhood TBI, commonly known as concussions. The most common causes of childhood TBIs include motor vehicle, ATV sports and playground accidents. Most youth TBIs are preventable with appropriate safety equipment such as car seats and bike helmets. 

TBI is a type of injury that affects how the brain works. Brain injuries can be caused by bumps, blunt blows, jolts or penetrating injuries (such as gunshots) to the head. In 2021, about 190 Americans died from TBI related injuries each day, with more than 214,000 TBI related hospitalizations in 2020. TBIs can be fatal and are a major cause of disability. 

"There are some simple precautions we can take to help protect our children against traumatic brain injury,” said Dr. Miranda Durham, Chief Medical Officer for NMDOH. “For example, ensuring kids wear helmets when riding any type of moving vehicle provides excellent protection against injuries.” 

In New Mexico children from birth to 17 years of age accounted for approximately 14% of TBI-related deaths in 2021.  

“To reduce the chance of traumatic brain injury, always wear the proper safety equipment and make sure it fits,” said Desi Ortiz, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program Manager for the Department of Game and Fish. “Taking an OHV safety class can further reduce your chances of injury by teaching you the proper techniques for operating an OHV.” 

Traumatic brain injuries are preventable by taking some simple steps: 

  • Wear helmets while operating off-highway vehicles, bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skates and skateboards. 
  • Make sure children are seated in the appropriately sized and placed car seat
  • Choose playgrounds with soft surfacing such as mulch, woodchips or sand. 
  • Enforce careful play. 
  • Work with your child's sports coach on teaching safety precautions. 
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion. 
  • If your child has a head injury, don't hesitate to take them to their healthcare provider. 

For further information on recognizing, responding to, and minimizing the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury, please visit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HEADS UP Resource Page and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Let’s Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury.

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Todos podemos tomar medidas para prevenir las lesiones cerebrales traumáticas infantiles