This summer, be careful with your head!
Launching head to the pool is just one of the causes that, during the summer, increases the number of serious head injuries and traumatic spinal injuries in Spain. The Brain Foundation points out the importance of taking measures to prevent this type of blunt wounds. So this Summer, watch your head!
Summer arrives and with it, there are more cases of serious traumatic brain injury (CET) and spinal cord injuries due, in most cases, to traffic accidents and sports activities.
"In summer, when road trips increase, when the use of protective helmets or other safety measures is neglected due to heat and the practice of sports and, above all, aquatic sports is increased, it is when a greater number of accidents related to bruises to the head"explains Jesús Porta Etessam, director of the Brain Foundation.
Every year, 100,000 cases of TBI occur in Spain. 15% of those affected die, and another 15% are disabled when receiving a strong impact on the head. This is the first cause of death in children under 45, in developed countries.
Profile of those affected by traumatisms
The majority of those affected by this type of head injury during the summer are young people under 30 years of age. The 50% of spinal cord injuries and TCE that occur each year are due to traffic accidents and almost 40% to accidents at work and sports.
Children and adolescents are usually the ones who suffer the most TCE, due, in many cases, to imprudence at the time of getting into the water, either in the pool or on the beach. The excitement caused by the start of the pool season is also a must, as 44% of serious spinal cord injuries occur during the first visit to a pool.
Beyond the water activities and traffic accidents, the TBI caused in children and young adults by other sports seem to increase also in summer. "Accidents related to cycling or riding are also frequent at this time and can be serious."
Keys to accident prevention
The essential is protect our head of any external aggression. This implies, in the case of moving by car, always use the seat belt and have the headrests well placed. And, to take care of the little ones, "children should always travel in special chairs for the car," says Porta.
When it comes to sports, we must make sure that our children always wear a helmet on their head when they use the bicycle, the scooter, ride a horse, etc. In addition, it is necessary to avoid practicing activities that require a high degree of technical difficulty, if adequate preparation or previous training is not available.
Regarding water activities, Porta recommends "checking that there are no obstacles and the depth of the area in which our children or we are going to dive, and watching the children carefully while they are in the water. especially cautious with slides and jet skis, and use the life jacket if you use a boat. "
It is also useful to use the arms as protection if we throw ourselves head to the water, because "the spinal cord injuries during summer dives represent 6% of the total annual cases and do not stop increasing years after years".
Another factor that can favor the occurrence of TCE is the consumption of substances such as alcohol and drugs before engaging in any sport or leisure activity. "Not only do people get into the water from a great height, accidents occur, but also because many times these practices are associated with the consumption of alcohol or other substances," says Porta.
For this reason, the consumption of these substances should be avoided, especially when going to carry out aquatic activities.
How to act before a traumatic brain injury
In the case of an accident with a traumatic brain injury, in which it is suspected that the damage is serious or unknown, it is necessary to call 112 as soon as possible. It is also advisable not to move the patient, as this may worsen their situation.
Isabel López Vásquez