Get News Straight to Your Inbox

Tag Archives: concussion

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month

During Brain Injury Awareness Month, Ringgold County Hospital is focused on preventing Tramatic Brain Injuries (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or injury to the head. Roughly 50% of trauma related visits to the Ringgold County Emergency Room in 2018 were due to motor vehicle accidents, some involving TBI. Although not all head injuries result in a TBI, it is important to be evaluated by a health care provider if you experience common symptoms like headache, dizziness, blurred vision, or difficulty concentrating. Severity of injury may range from a mild, short-term change in mental status or consciousness to an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury. Concussions are the most common form of TBI, and are considered a mild injury. 

There are many ways to reduce the chances of a traumatic brain injury. Be sure to:

  1. Wear a seat belt every time you drive – or ride – in a motor vehicle
  2. Minimize distractions while driving and put your phone away
  3. Use caution while driving in adverse weather conditions – slow down and brake sooner
  4. Choose not to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs – arrange another ride
  5. Make living and play areas safer for children
    •  Install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open window
    •  Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around
  6. Wear a helmet, or appropriate headgear, when you or your children:
    • Ride a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or use an all-terrain vehicle
    • Play a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing
    • Use in-line skates or ride a skateboard
    • Bat and run bases in baseball or softball
    • Ride a horse
    • Ski or snowboard
  7. Prevent falls for older adults:
    • Talk to your doctor to evaluate your risk for falling, and ask them about specific things you can do to reduce your risk for a fall
    • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy – this should include prescription medicines, over-the counter medicines, herbal supplements, and vitamins
    • Have your eyes checked at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses if needed
    • Do strength and balance exercises to make your legs stronger and improve your balance

 

 

Outreach Focuses on Concussions

Along with all the good work going on inside the Rehab Department, Director Jill Ehlen and the entire staff believe in the importance of community involvement and outreach. An important initiative this fall has been pre-concussion cognitive testing for all middle and high school athletes. “Every athlete takes a 30-minute cognitive test to get a baseline,” explained Nate Greisen, PTA. “If they get a concussion, they take the test again, so we can compare the results.”

The team is hitting it hard and educating both students and their parents to make them aware of the protocols for getting back into the game. The high school’s athletic director has made the testing mandatory for all athletes. Nate adds that, “People are finally understanding that concussions are traumatic head injuries.”

Back to School Safety Reminders

RCH Newsletter August 2016

Summertime offers a nice reprieve from the constant shuffling of papers, carpools and heavy backpacks of the school year. But once fall rolls around again, parents and kids have a lot to juggle.  As your children march out the door on that first day of school – and every day – there is really only one priority: Nothing is more important than making sure they get home safely.

Lighten the Load

When you move your child’s backpack after he or she drops it at the door, does it feel like it contains 40 pounds of rocks? Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for kids, like back and shoulder pain, and poor posture. The American Chiropractic Association recommends a backpack weigh no more than 10 percent of a child’s weight.

Remember: A roomy backpack may seem like a good idea, but the more space there is to fill, the more likely your child will fill it. Make sure your child uses both straps when carrying the backpack. Using one strap shifts the weight to one side and causes muscle pain and posture problems.

Help your child determine what is absolutely necessary to carry. If it’s not essential, leave it at home.

Travel safely

Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, school buses are the safest way to get to and from school. Riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in the family vehicle and 10 times safer than walking.

While school buses are, by far, the safest way for students to travel, children need to do their part to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent injury. The National Safety Council urges parents to teach their children safety rules for getting on and off the bus, and for exercising good behavior while riding. When waiting for the bus, children need to stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing. While on the bus, they need to stay in their seats and keep the aisle clear of books and bags. After a long day at school, it’s important that they pay attention when getting off the bus at home– especially if they need to cross the street in front of the bus.

Watch your head

Every three minutes a child in the U.S. is treated for a sports-related concussion. Don’t think it’s just football players – or boys – who bang their heads. An estimated 3.8 million athletes a year suffer concussion, though the majority are underreported and underdiagnosed, according to the Brain Trauma Foundation. A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows the number of sports-related concussions is highest in high school athletes, but they are significant and on the rise in younger athletes.

If your child gets hit on the head, do not assume he just had his bell rung, or she was just dinged. Concussions are very serious and always require medical attention. Signs and symptoms of concussion include:

• Confusion

• Forgetfulness

• Glassy eyes

• Disorientation

• Clumsiness or poor balance

• Slowed speech

• Changes in mood, behavior or personality

Research indicates most children and teens who have a concussion feel better within a couple of weeks. However, for some, symptoms may last for months or longer and can lead to short- and long-term problems affecting how they think, act, learn and feel.

Following a concussion, athletes of all ages are advised to undergo a series of steps before returning to play: rest, then light exercise and sport-specific training. Only then should they be cleared to resume contact drills.

Heads Up

The National Safety Council is focused on efforts to eliminate distracted walking – specifically walking while texting. According to a study by The Nielsen Company, kids age 13 to 17 send more than 3,400 texts a month. That’s seven messages every hour they are awake.

Before your children head out, remind them of these year-round safety tips:• Never walk while texting or talking on the phone.

• If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.

• Never cross the street while using an electronic device

• Do not walk with headphones on.

• Be aware of the surroundings.

• Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic.

• Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street.

• Cross only at crosswalks.

Click here to print and read the full story.