World Head Injury Awareness Day

If you weren’t aware that there is a specific day in the year dedicated to the prevention of head injuries, you wouldn’t be the only one. After speaking to some friends it became patently clear to me that very few know of this day of awareness, and it makes perfect sense why – I mean, it’s not as if there’s anything particularly fashionable or sexy about protecting your head, or is there?

When you consider the blindingly obvious fact that your head houses some of the most integral parts of your body necessary for daily life then you may well question why more of us aren’t aware of World Head Injury Day.

According to The National Institute of Occupational Health this particular day is meant to remind us of how we can reduce accidents and brain injuries by being more mindful. “It advocates the correct usage of safety gadgets such as helmets and seat belts, which can prevent damage to the head when one is involved in accident situations.”

Think about your daily life and how often you unwittingly expose yourself to possible serious head injuries, which you could easily prevent. Every time I slip and miss a near fall in the gym shower or pool area I always threaten to buy a pair of rubber slippers, but then I don’t. Throughout my entire stay in Europe a few months ago, my most frequently used mode of transport was a bicycle and I never once wore a helmet.

South Africa’s National Institute of Occupational Health reports that in July 2009 the country’s population was at 49.3 million and that 5% of this number have a disability of some kind. Roughly 89,000 new cases of traumatic brain injury are reported annually in South Africa.

Yikes, that’s a lot of people having their lives irrevocably changed. It is a pity the report doesn’t detail just how many of those accidents were preventable.

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Here are some simple tips to follow to help keep us all safe from further head injuries:

  •   Always wear a seat belt when in a motor vehicle
  •   Use an appropriate child safety seat
  •   Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  •   Always wear a helmet when on a bicycle, motorcycle or scooter
  •   Use the handrails on stairways and escalators
  •   Provide adequate lighting on stairwells for the sake of people with poor vision
  •   Do not place any obstacles on pathways
  •   Provide the correct safety equipment for workers

Lastly, help spread awareness about head injuries and their prevention. The above guidelines could be key to preventing further life-altering accidents in your community.

[box] Written By: Warren Wildey [/box]

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