Throughout most of the United States, January is one of the snowiest months of the year, making winter sports like skiing and snowboarding popular activities. Even in warmer climates, indoor “winter sports” like ice skating and hockey get many people up and moving during January and February.
When they are not practiced safely and with good equipment, winter sports can greatly increase the risk of head injuries leading to traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is why January is recognized as National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month.
As every experienced Texas brain injury lawyer is aware, even a mild concussion or other TBI can cause lingering problems with memory, attention, mood, and motor coordination, as well as headaches and other disabling conditions. Severe brain injuries can cause permanent disability or even death.
How can you help prevent concussions and other traumatic brain injuries while enjoying winter sports? Consider the following tips:
- Wear a properly fitted helmet. Helmets can go a long way toward preventing or reducing the severity of a traumatic brain injury. Choose a helmet that fits correctly and is appropriate for the activity.
- Take lessons. If you’re going skating, skiing, or snowboarding, basic lessons will help you learn how to fall more safely. They’ll also help you learn how to fall less often, which can also reduce your chances of injury.
- Take a break after a head injury. Learn the signs of concussion, and make sure anyone who hits their head – even if the blow seems “mild” – stops playing immediately and is cleared by a doctor before returning to any winter sports.