With traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) a serious health issue in Wyoming, thinking ahead to help prevent them is important, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
Wyoming ranks among the highest in the nation for deadly TBIs with about 98 unintentional fatal TBIs each year, along with about 180 TBI-related hospitalizations. TBIs are a contributing factor to 1/3 of unintentional injury-related deaths in Wyoming.
Dara Lawyer, WDH injury prevention coordinator, said “Perhaps not surprisingly, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of TBIs in our state. Falls are another major concern, particularly for older residents.”
Lawyer explained TBIs are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head and can affect how a person feels, thinks, acts and learns.
“A TBI not only impacts the lives of individuals and their families, but can collectively have a large societal and economic toll,” Lawyer said. “While TBIs range from mild concussions to much more severe injuries, all TBIs are serious and have the potential for life-long consequences.”
Lawyer said most TBIs can be prevented. Suggested actions include:
• Wearing a seat belt each and every time.
• Taking steps to prevent falls, especially among older adults.
• Wearing the right helmet that fits well during sports and recreation activities.
• Using the right car seat or booster seat for a child’s age, height and weight.
More information about TBIs can be found online at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/prevention/wipp/injurytbi/