Preventing TBI

Key points

  • Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car.
  • Helmets lower the chance for TBI during sports and recreation activities.
  • Take steps to prevent the chance for a fall.
Older adult couple wearing bike helmets

Prevention tips

You Can Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Buckle Up Every Ride – Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  • Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Choose a sports program that enforces rules for safety and avoids drills and plays that increase the risk for head impacts.
  • Wear a helmet, or appropriate headgear, when you or your children:
    • Ride a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or use an all-terrain vehicle;
    • Play a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;
    • Use in-line skates or ride a skateboard;
    • Bat and run bases in baseball or softball;
    • Ride a horse; or
    • Ski or snowboard.
  • Prevent Older Adult Falls
    • Talk to your doctor to evaluate your risk for falling, and talk with them about specific things you can do to reduce your risk for a fall.
    • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy. This should include prescription medicines, over-the counter medicines, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
    • Have your eyes checked at least once a year and be sure to update your eyeglasses if needed.
    • Do strength and balance exercises to make your legs stronger and improve your balance.
    • Make your home safer.
  • Make living and play areas safer for children
    • Install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows.
    • Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
    • Make sure your child's playground has soft material under it, such as hardwood mulch or sand.1
  1. Mack MG, Sacks JJ, Thompson D. Testing the impact attenuation of loose fill playground surfaces. Injury Prevention 2000;6:141–144.