Concussion prevention at any age

The skull does a good job of protecting the brain during everyday activities. However, the brain is very delicate, and it’s susceptible to sustaining serious damage from traumatic impacts. Brain injuries, or concussions, can affect many areas of a person’s life—from memory and cognition to emotions and personality. Concussions can occur at any age, but children and older adults are high-risk groups. The healthcare providers at Riverside Community Hospital are always here to help if you have any questions about concussion prevention in your family.

Infants and children
One possible cause of life-threatening concussions in infants is shaken baby syndrome. This can occur when parents or caregivers feel so overwhelmed by a baby’s inability to stop crying that they shake the baby, causing irreversible brain damage.

To prevent shaken baby syndrome, consider taking new parent education classes at the hospital and only hire experienced, well-qualified caregivers. Look for and address the cause of a baby’s crying, such as hunger, a wet diaper, the need to burp or the need for comfort. And if you ever feel overwhelmed, place the baby in the crib and walk away until your emotions are under control.

Infants and children are also at risk of concussions from car accidents. Aside from driving safely, the most effective way to protect kids in a car is to keep them securely buckled into an appropriate car seat.

Older children and adolescents
When older children and adolescents join sports teams, parents can best protect them by ensuring they have the right safety gear. Consult the pediatrician or a qualified athletic coach to find out about appropriate safety gear for the child’s chosen sport. And always make sure kids wear a helmet when they go for a bike ride, or go skateboarding or rollerblading.

Adults and older adults
Older adults are particularly at risk of concussions from falling. A fall can happen to anyone in any place. If you’re taking medications, talk to your doctor about whether any of them may cause dizziness, which increases the risk of a fall.

Additionally, maintain a safe environment. Remove clutter from the floors, ensure the home is well-lit and install safety modifications as needed, such as handrails in the bathroom.

Riverside Community Hospital provides high-quality, patient-centered emergency care to Riverside County and greater southern California. Our providers use our Rapid Medical Evaluation program, which allows most patients to be seen within an average of 15 minutes. Call 911 if you have a true medical emergency, otherwise, you can direct general healthcare questions to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.