Concussion - preventing in children; Traumatic brain injury - preventing in children; TBI - children; Safety - preventing head injury
Although no child is injury proof, parents can take simple steps to keep their children from getting head injuries.
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.
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. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has information on how to fit a bike helmet.
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. Be sure to talk with your provider about when your child can return to activities.
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 website. Brain injury basics. www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/index.html. Updated March 5, 2019. Accessed October 8, 2020.
Johnston BD, Rivara FP. Injury control. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 13.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Car seats and booster seats. www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#35091. Accessed October 8, 2020.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 7/22/2020
Reviewed By: Charles I. Schwartz MD, FAAP, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, General Pediatrician at PennCare for Kids, Phoenixville, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 04/28/2021.
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