At Passen & Powell, our Chicago brain injury attorneys and spinal cord injury lawyers are experienced at litigating catastrophic brain and spinal injuries, and getting victims the compensation they deserve. But obtaining justice after the fact is obviously not the ideal solution. Far better is to prevent these life-altering or fatal injuries before they can occur. To that end, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons has issued guidelines for safe summer fun, designed to prevent spinal cord injuries and traumatic bicycle accident lawyer 300×238 Preventing Summer TBI and Spinal Cord Injuriesmatic brain injuries (TBI).
There are a number of actions that individuals can take to prevent these injuries no matter what sport or outdoor activity they prefer. If you are feeling sick or particularly tired, you should not engage in sports. Sporting equipment that has become old or damaged should be replaced. Parents should also carefully supervise youngsters while they play, and always ensure that children are engaged in age-appropriate activities. It is also important that children, particularly young ones, never play on playground equipment mounted on a hard surface.
Other important safety rules are applicable only to particular sports or activities. For example, when playing baseball, never slide headfirst into a base. When playing football, never tackle another player or make a hit using the top of your helmet.
One of the most dangerous summer activities, most likely to result in brain and spinal injuries, is swimming and, more particularly, diving. Swimmers should never dive in water less than twelve feet deep, and should always check the depth of the water before diving, and ensure that the water is clear of debris. If you are swimming in a body of water for the first time, you should walk into the water and become familiar with the depth of the area before attempting a dive. When swimming in a public place, such as a pool, park, or beach, be aware of warning signs and always follow them. Those swimming in above-ground pools should never dive.
There are also a number of things that can help prevent TBI and spinal injuries while enjoying the summer months on a bicycle. The most important prevention strategy is, of course, to always wear a helmet when biking or riding a motorcycle, scooter or other similar device – and make sure that your helmet fits correctly and is approved by SNELL, ANSI, or ASTM. Bikers should also refrain from using headphones, and stay aware of their surroundings. Bicyclists should steer clear of moving vehicles, and never grab or hold a moving vehicle in order to “hitch a ride.” As for parked cars, bicyclists should always leave enough distance to avoid being hit should a door suddenly open. Finally, children under one year of age should not be carried on a bicycle because, while helmets are essential for all riders, the necks of these youngsters are weaker and can actually be injured by the weight of the helmet.
Helmets are also essential when skateboarding or using inline skates. Our Chicago traumatic brain injury lawyers echo the advice given by the AANS. Many of the most catastrophic injuries — paraplegia, quadriplegia, severe traumatic brain injury — could be prevented or minimized by taking this simple precaution when biking, skating, or motorcycling. Skaters and skateboarders should, of course, also wear knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, and gloves. Awareness is also essential. Skaters and skateboarders should keep alert for uneven surfaces, debris, or cracks. They should also be aware of the state of their equipment, and replace or repair any damaged parts before skating.
If these simple precautions are taken, the number of spinal cord injuries during the summer months could be greatly reduced. Our top Chicago brain injury attorneys encourage everyone to follow these rules, in the hope that fewer people will need our services. Stay safe, and enjoy the Chicago summer!
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.