Preventing head injuries in children
Although no child is injury-proof, parents can take simple steps to keep their children from getting head injuries.
Concussion - preventing in children; Traumatic brain injury - preventing in children; TBI - children; Safety - preventing head injury
Your child should wear a seatbelt at all times when they are in a car or other motor vehicle.
DO NOT drive with a child in your car when you have been drinking alcohol, used illegal drugs, or are feeling very tired.
Wearing a Helmet
Helmets help to prevent head injuries. Your child should wear a helmet that fits properly for the following sports or activities:
Your local sporting goods store, sports facility, or bike shop will be able to help make certain the helmet fits properly. You can also contact the American League of Bicyclists -- www.bikeleague.org.
Almost all major medical organizations recommend against boxing of any sort, even with a helmet.
Older children should always wear a helmet when riding a snowmobile, motorcycle, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle (ATV). If possible, children should not ride on these vehicles.
After having a concussion or mild head injury, your child may need a helmet. Always talk with your provider about when to return to activities.
Keeping Your Child Safe in the Home
Install window guards on all windows that can be opened.
Use a safety gate at the top and the bottom of stairs until your child can safely go up and down. Keep stairs free of any clutter. DO NOT let your children play on stairs or jump on or from furniture.
DO NOT leave a young infant alone on a high place such as a bed or sofa. When using a high chair, make sure your child is strapped in with the safety harness.
Store all firearms and bullets in a locked cabinet.
Make sure playground surfaces are safe. They should be made of shock-absorbing material, such as rubber mulch.
Keep your children away from trampolines, if possible.
Some simple steps can keep your child safe in bed:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brain Injury Basics. Updated February 16, 2015. www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/index.html. Accessed October 25, 2016.
Krach LE. Severe traumatic brain injury. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 710.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Child Safety at Parents Central: How to Find the Right Car Seat. Safecar.gov. www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Safety.htm. Accessed October 25, 2016.
Review Date: 8/31/2016
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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