Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Special Factors in TBI Cases with Children

Top 5 Ways to Challenge Your TBIUnfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in children in the U.S. Here are some of the special factors that differentiate TBI cases with children versus adults:

  • Age factors in heavily. Because the child’s brain is still developing, a serious brain injury may completely alter the course of the child’s development.
  • Previously learned information may be lost – in which case, this can severely handicap child brain injury patients. Why? Because previously learned information provides important building blocks for subsequent learning.
  • The effects of a traumatic brain injury on a child may not be seen directly after the injury. In fact, the effects may only become apparent over time, during the course of cognitive and mental development. Problems with abstract thinking and other skills may not be apparent until the child is well into adolescence. Thus, it’s important to keep a close eye on the child throughout their adolescence. Otherwise, the cause of problems in thinking could go unidentified. This will only create even more problems for the child throughout time. The strategies used to help a child with TBI are very different from those used to address similar problems.

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You!

Do you have further questions about special factors in TBI cases with children? Don’t hesitate to contact TryMunity. Here at TryMunity, we provide a vast, comprehensive web of resources for just that! We also have several support systems for those afflicted with a traumatic brain injury, or who know of someone who is. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! Join the TryMunity community today, and take advantage of all that we offer. We’re always happy to speak with you, and offer our assistance. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Words of Encouragement That TBI Patients Actually Want to Hear

Educating others about TBIToo often in the traumatic brain injury community, our peers and family want to be supportive but are going about it the wrong way. There are things we hear daily that we just don’t want to hear, no matter how touching or genuine they are. So, in light of education being a top priority here at TryMunity, we thought we’d blog this month about the things we actually want to hear. Rather than put up with statements that end up hurting more than helping, we aim to educate our circle of support on words of encouragement we actually want to hear.

Realistic Statements Go A Long Way

When any of us approaches a patient or sick family member, we often say things like, “feel better soon!” or “you’ll make it through!” However, those are statements that only touch the surface level of the impact of TBI. Instead, patients and survivors want to hear more realistic statements. Some words we might suggest you say to your peers living with a TBI include:

“This really sucks.” – Although this is pretty casual and frank, it doesn’t beat around the bush. It doesn’t have a sort of unrealistic optimism. Instead, this phrase tells patients that you get it. You understand that they have it tougher than everyone around them. And that…just…sucks.

“Let me go get you something to eat.” – Sure, this sounds ridiculous, but hear us out. This phrase actually names a task you can do for the other person. You’re not saying something intangible like, “let me know if you need any help.” When someone offers something like “help,” they may genuinely want to. But, they are putting it on the patient to reach out. That’s an added burden on top of everything else.

“Can I take you to your next doctor’s appointment?” – Again, this seems simple, but it is really taking away responsibility from the already-burdened patient. This phrase allows peers and family to help effectively and not just create the idea of help. This physical act can make a world of difference for someone whose physicality is limited by a TBI.

Make a Difference, Not Just a Statement

When you aim to help a patient or person living with a TBI, the key goal is to make a difference. Words of encouragement can only go so far. Acts of encouragement speak volumes. For tips on how to effectively support your friend or family member with TBI,  reach out to us here at TryMunity. Our goal is to be that resource you and your family need to make it through.


Stretch Your Holiday Cheer Even Further!

TryMunity Tree Classics Partnership

This holiday season, TryMunity is partnering with Tree Classics, the world’s No. 1 artificial Christmas tree seller, to raise money. The goal of the campaign is not only to fundraise, but also to help spread awareness about the work that TryMunity does in the community. Since you all know that traumatic brain injury has affected my family directly, the opportunity to increase TBI awareness and education pleases me.

How the Campaign Works

From now until Christmas, we have a chance to collect a portion of Tree Classics’ online tree sales. After customers make their selection and are ready to checkout, they will be prompted to choose a nonprofit to benefit from a portion of the sale. Ours, along with a number of other worthy causes, will be among the options. The buyer does not have to make an extra contribution; rather, Tree Classics will donate a portion of that sale to our organization.

It’s that simple! Just a few clicks of a mouse can help fund our agency so we can continue to do the work that we do.

Spreading Awareness

We are so grateful for all you’ve done to help us get this far with spreading our mission, but we need your help to make sure this partnership is a success! If you, your family members, friends or anyone you know are in the market for a new tree, please visit to view their many options. You will be pleasantly surprised to find there are firs, spruces and pines; gold, silver, white and green trees; and heights and widths perfect for any room.

You can also help us by sharing news of the fundraiser on your preferred social media channels. We’ll be posting updates on our pages, so please share them as you see fit! Rest assured that the proceeds from each sale marked for our nonprofit will be used to benefit our community.

Start Shopping

To find your perfect artificial Christmas tree and give back to the community at the same time, please visit To learn more about our mission or this partnership, please visit the philanthropy page at as well. Happy Holidays!

How to Properly Wear a Helmet When Riding Bikes

Wear HelmetRiding your bicycle is a great way to stay in shape and enjoy the outdoors, but it can also be very dangerous if you do not wear the proper equipment. At TryMunity, we know that the best way to avoid traumatic brain injury is through prevention, which is why we are passionate about getting everyone to wear helmet when riding bikes. Follow these easy steps to make sure that you and your family members are wearing your helmet correctly.


Helmets come in many different sizes based upon the head size of the wearer. Small children should wear helmets that are designed for small riders. The Bike Helmet Safety Institute offers a comprehensive list of sizes according to helmet manufacturers so that you can find the correct one for your needs. Trying on several different helmets can help you find the one that feels right. When you wear a helmet, it should fit snugly against your head.


When you are wearing your helmet, it should be on your head in the correct position. Do not allow the helmet to slide too far forward, obstructing your vision, or too far back, becoming ineffective. When it comes to outdoor safety, your bicycle helmet should be level on your head, but low onto your forehead. You can measure where it should be with one or two finger widths.

Adjusting the Straps

The straps of your helmet should be adjusted to keep your helmet in place. The side straps should form a v shape just below and slightly in front of your ears. The chin strap should be tight enough that you can only fit one or two fingers underneath, causing the helmet to tighten down if you open your mouth wide.

When you wear a helmet, make sure that you do it correctly. Visit the TryMunity community for more information about bicycle safety and traumatic brain injury.

Stay Safe Outside While Playing

Stay Safe OutsideWith the warmer weather comes plenty of outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy. At TryMunity, we know that getting outside is one of the best ways to celebrate the summer season, providing plenty of healthy and relaxing memories for people of all ages. Preparation is key when you want to stay safe outside. Consider the following tips to help prevent injuries that could be caused by having a little bit too much fun.

Pool Safety

The swimming pool is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in small children and slips and falls poolside are common accidents, both of which could cause brain injury. In order to keep kids safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not enrolling children in swimming lessons until they are four years old. Some important things to consider when at the pool include:

  • Keep children who do not know how to swim at an arm’s length while in the pool.
  • Use a child-size life vest rather than water wings.
  • Take a CPR course.
  • Encouraging children to walk on wet surfaces.

By preparing yourself and your family members, you are more able to help your child should the need arise.

Bike Safety

Many children and adults spend a lot of time during the summer on their bicycles. In order for you and your family to stay safe outside while riding a bike, the essential protective gear should be worn at all times. A helmet can protect against head injuries and should be worn no matter how far you are from home. The right size of helmet and bike can make a big difference on its effectiveness.

ATV Safety

When it comes to outdoor safety, being properly trained can help reduce the chances of injury. If your family enjoys getting out on ATVs throughout the summer, anyone who drives should take a hands-on safety training to ensure complete understanding of the recreational vehicles. Wearing helmets during any ride is an essential tool to prevent traumatic brain injuries.

The TryMunity team invites you to join our community for more tips to stay safe outside this summer.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms to Watch For

Traumatic Brain Injury SymptomsA traumatic brain injury can have a wide range of physical and psychological effects. At TryMunity, we recommend watching out for these traumatic brain injury symptoms if you were recently injured in an accident where you suffered a severe bump or blow to the head.

Common Symptoms

It is important to keep in mind that traumatic brain injury symptoms vary by person and situation. However, some of the common symptoms of this type of injury include:

  • Loss of consciousness, either for a few seconds or several minutes at a time
  • Consistent headaches and issues with memory and concentration
  • Dizziness, trouble with balance, and regular nausea or vomiting
  • Sensory issues, like blurred vision, having a bad taste in the mouth, or consistent ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue, drowsiness, and unexpected mood changes
  • Trouble sleeping or wanting to sleep more than normal

These traumatic brain injury symptoms are just a few of the issues an accident victim may suffer from following an injury to the head. In many cases, these symptoms do not occur until several hours after the accident and may even not be noticeable until a few days have passed. However, some accident victims may find that they do not experience the symptoms of a brain injury or a concussion at all.

When to See a Doctor

After a head injury, immediate medical attention should be received and the accident victim should be closely monitored thereafter. In cases where the symptoms of a head injury do not manifest themselves for several days, medical care should be sought soon thereafter, especially when changes in normal behavior are present.

At TryMunity, we realize that dealing with the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be difficult. We encourage you to join our community today to receive the support you need to make progress towards living a better quality of life once again.


Concussion Symptoms You Can Recognize

Concussion SymptomsTraumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a condition that manifests with a wide range of symptoms. These injuries can lead to physical and psychological problems which can be mitigated by seeking prompt and appropriate treatment. If any of these concussion symptoms manifest after blow to the head, a fall or an auto accident make sure to seek medical treatment. Additional information can be found on the TryMunity website.

Symptoms of Mild Injury

These are among the most common concussion symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury. Though the injury is classified as mild, these symptoms should still be taken seriously if they occur in conjunction with an accident or soon after:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness, even for a few seconds
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Sleeping too much
  • Blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or other sensory problems

Symptoms of Moderate and Severe Injury

More severe injuries will result in more marked concussion symptoms. Watch for any of the symptoms described above in addition to the following:

  • Loss of consciousness lasting several minutes or hours
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Loss of coordination
  • Marked confusion
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Persistent or worsening headache
  • Numb or weak extremities, especially fingers and toes

Symptoms in Children and Older Adults

Falls are common causes of injuries in both young children and older adults. In fact, people 75 and older have the highest rate of hospitalization due to TBI of any age group.

Infants and young children also manifest the changed sleeping patterns described above and may cry persistently and change their eating habits. Older adults may manifest concussion symptoms such as confusion, loss of balance and dizziness but be unable to recall the injury occurring.

Information is Available

TryMunity exists to help families and individuals affected by brain injuries connect with the information and support they need. Learn more about our community by visiting our website.


New Picture Book Explores Toddler Head Injury


Toddler Head InjuryTryMunity understands that parents have a difficult time talking to children about complex health concerns. Children understand what they can immediately see and feel. This makes discussing subjects such as toddler head injury, seizures and other conditions that exist below the skin’s surface a distinct challenge. Three new books are intended to help children, young adults, and parents make sense of complex medical concerns, specifically concerns related to epilepsy and head injuries.

Turning Health Into a Story

The Children’s Trust is an organization in the United Kingdom for children with brain injuries, their parents and family, and community members. This organization has released three new books about toddler head injury, acquired brain injury and related concerns.

The first book, “Heads Up Tim-Tron” is about a small robot who hurts his head. After his injury, Tim-Tron discovers that one of his circuit boards has stopped working. Children learn together with Tim-Tron that life after a head injury might require new routines but that these routines can help them feel better.

The second book is aimed at older readers. “Acquired Brain Injury – What’s Up With Trauma?” is about a team of superheroes that help a young woman understand her brain injury. This title is part of the Medikidz series of comic books.

“Acquired Brain Injury in Children: A Parent’s Guide” is the third new book from The Children’s Trust. This book empowers parents with answers to pressing questions about their children’s health and long term brain health. Filled with stories, this illustrated guide helps parents navigate the complex topic.

Connect With Other Parents

TryMunity connects parents and families affected by toddler head injury with up to date health care information. Access a wealth of informational resources any time of day and learn more about brain injury and brain injury prevention. This online community is free to join. Start sharing support today.


Do Helmets Protect Skiers Against Traumatic Brain Injury?

Skiing Traumatic Brain InjuryMost skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts are trained to wear a helmet when hitting the slopes. However, experts are now questioning whether a protective piece of plastic is sufficient in preventing snow lovers from obtaining head trauma, including traumatic brain injury. More American snowboarders and skiers than ever before are wearing helmets. The number of these conscientious riders has nearly tripled since 2003, as seventy percent of all skiers and boarders are now wearing helmets. According to the National Ski Areas Association, incidents of brain injuries or fatalities related to snow-sports have remained unchanged. The TryMunity community offers support for those who have been affected by these head injuries.

Who is at risk?

While all experts agree that wearing a helmet when participating in snow-sports is vital, studies have shown that wearing a helmet may be correlated to a greater likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. Many boarders and skiers believe that because they are wearing a helmet, they are able to attempt high-risk jumps and going off trail. Those who are at highest risk are males between the ages of seventeen and thirty.

What is being done?

Many helmet manufacturers are turning their attention toward redesigning their helmets using new technology to maximize protection from traumatic brain injury. Efforts have also been made to educate those who wear helmets as to their limitations.

Join TryMunity

Whether you suffer from traumatic brain injury or you are simply interested in learning more information about head injuries, TryMunity can answer your questions as well as lend vital support. We strive to educate others on the facts of traumatic brain conditions and head injury. By joining our community, you will be linked with others who share your condition. Join today by visiting

Source:  The New York Times, “Ski Helmet Use Isn’t Reducing Brain Injuries,” Kelley McMillan, December 31,2013.

Recognize the Signs of a Concussion in the Early Stages

ConcussionIf you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from a concussion, you may feel lost as to where to turn next. Whether the injured person has sustained a blow to the head, or even the body, the following signs may help you to catch serious brain damage in the earliest stages. At TryMunity, we always recommend immediate contact of medical personnel for advice and treatment when a traumatic brain injury has been sustained.

Three key concussion symptoms include changes in each of the following categories:

  • Mental Capabilities
  • Physical Wellness
  • Sudden or Dramatic Emotional Changes

Mental Capabilities

An individual’s change in mental capacity may be as marked as having difficulty recalling information, not being able to think clearly, or having difficulty concentrating.

Physical Symptoms

A concussion is often accompanied by physical signs of injury. Aside from visually apparent injuries like cuts, bruises, and scrapes, other physical symptoms include severe headache, blurred vision, dizziness and nausea.

Emotional Changes

A serious blow or rattling of the brain can cause more than just physical pain and mental changes. Emotional changes are also commonly associated with this type of injury. Signs of emotional disturbances include a change in sleeping patterns, like extreme exhaustion or difficulty falling asleep. Other emotional changes may include a short temper, nervousness, anxiety, or other unusual behaviors.

We invite you to join our online TryMunity community to find answers to your questions and join other people facing similar struggles and challenges. We believe some of the best ways individuals can find help with cases of serious brain damage are to become educated and surround themselves with the support and advice of others.