TBI expert Lisa Lange, MPT has great advice for winter sports enthusiasts.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are the leading cause of death and disability in people under the age of 45 and, unfortunately, they are very prevalent among those who enjoy winter sports.
Each winter hundreds of thousands of people flock to the mountains to ski, snowboard, sled, tube, snow mobile and more, yet many lack the proper safety equipment.
“People don’t think twice about wearing a helmet when playing football, or wearing shin guards when playing soccer but in the winter months people ski, snowboard, go ice skating and more without protective gear” said Lisa Lange, MPT, Certified Brain Specialist (CBIS), who has been with Bacharach for 30 years. “Although helmets don’t prevent injuries from happening, they can prevent an injury from being severe. The good news is that recently there has been a push for winter sports enthusiasts to wear helmets.”
Here are some tips from Lisa about how to prevent a brain injury this winter:
- Use appropriate safety equipment- make sure to wear a properly-fitted helmet, or rent one.
- Take a lesson—when participating in a winter activity, don’t just “wing it.” Take a lesson so you learn how to fall properly, which can help prevent injury.
- Know your landscape—before participating in an activity make sure you are in a safe environment and are aware of any unmarked trails, large rocks, trees and more.
- Know your limitations—it is important to understand your skill level and how much speed you can safely handle.
- Use the buddy system—always bring a buddy with you when you participate in a winter activity in case of an emergency.
- Know the symptoms of concussion—it is important to know the symptoms of concussion and to tell someone if you do hit your head. One way to remember the symptoms is to use the mnemonic “ HEADS “ which stands for: 1. Headache; 2. Ear ringing or hearing loss; 3. Amnesia or change in consciousness; 4. Dizziness or double vision; and 5. Something doesn’t feel right.
“Symptoms of a brain injury can be instantaneous or delayed, and often people write off their injury,” said Lisa. “If you do hit your head, it is important to be aware of the symptoms to look for and to seek medical attention. Injuries will happen; but with raising awareness we can prevent life -long consequences. “