Prevention

For the best possible protection, infants and toddlers should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limits of their seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

Birth until age 2-4.

When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

After outgrowing rear-facing seat until at least age 5.

Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a belt positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Proper seat belt fit usually occurs when children are about 4 feet 9 inches tall and age 9-12 years.

After outgrowing forward-facing seat and until seat belts fit properly.

Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Proper seat belt fit usually occurs when children are about 4 feet 9 inches tall and age 9-12 years. For the best possible protection, keep children properly buckled in the back seat.

Once seat belts fit properly without a booster seat.

All children aged 12 and under should ride in the back seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an air bag.

Remember

There are many ways to reduce the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury. See prevention tips listed below.

You Can Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury

    1. Buckle Up Every Ride – Wear a seat belt every time you drive – or ride – in a motor vehicle.
    2. Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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 playgroundCdc-pdf has soft material under it, such as hardwood mulch or sand.1

References

      1. Mack MG, Sacks JJ, Thompson D. Testing the impact attenuation of loose fill playground surfaces. Injury Prevention 2000;6:141–144.