March is Brain Injury Awareness. Leading the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness month, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) conducts a themed campaign every year to bring awareness to head and brain injuries. This year’s theme is Not Alone. The Not Alone campaign is designed to educate the public about the degree of brain injuries and lends itself to outreach within the brain injury community to de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the different types of support that are available.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to BIAA, more than 3.5 million children and adults sustain a brain injury (ABI) each year, and more than 12 million Americans live with the impact of ABI.
A Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as “a nondegenerative, noncongenital insult to the brain from an external mechanical force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functions, with an associated diminished or altered state of consciousness.” Brain injuries can range in severity and can cause problems to varying degrees.
Severe brain injury is categorized as a “brain injury resulting in a loss of consciousness of greater than 6 hours and a Glasgow Coma Scale of 3 to 8.”A moderate brain injury is classified as “resulting in a loss of consciousness from 20 minutes to 6 hours and a Glasgow Coma Scale of 9 to 12.” A TBI can be classified as mild if “loss of consciousness and/or confusion and disorientation is shorter than 30 minutes.”
Brain Injury Awareness
Federico Olivares, Founder and President of 2nd Skull, realized how serious brain injuries can be while watching his children play:
“It all started on a summer day in 2010. My kids were riding bikes and electric four wheelers. All of a sudden, I saw my son fall down and hit his head hard on the concrete. While he had his bicycle helmet on, I realized that in a split second our lives could change. I felt helpless and knew at that moment that I had to do something about this, for me and for other parents. If there was one product that could add protection to any sport helmet, what would it look like?”
This event sparked the idea that led to 2nd Skull. 2nd Skull products are scientifically engineered to reduce impact. The 2nd Skull cap and band come with a thin layer of lightweight XRD, an extreme impact protection material made from special urethane molecules that are soft and flexible at rest but can momentarily harden under sudden pressure.
2nd Skull does not make any concussive claims. In fact, they share their Warning across all of their marketing material, which reads: WARNING: Scientists have not reached agreement on how the results of impact absorption tests relate to neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions. No conclusions about a reduction of risk or severity of neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions, should be drawn from impact absorption tests.
In addition to wearing extra head gear protection, there are other ways coaches, parents, and athletes can mitigate the likelihood of head injuries:
- Play by the rules and learn/use proper techniques for your sport
- Wear appropriate equipment. For example, if your sport requires a helmet with a chin strap, always make sure the strap is closed
- Examine the playing field. Make sure there are no obstacles on the field that can cause injury
- Practice good sportsmanship. As a coach or parent, teaching your young athlete good sportsmanship will minimize aggression while playing the game.
Click here to learn more about to look out for sports related injuries.