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Safety First – Best Practices for Avoiding Head Injuries and Concussions

Best Practices for Avoiding Concussions and Other Head InjuriesConcussions and other head injuries can lead to serious difficulties if undetected or ignored. A concussion is not a minor injury, but rather a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Concussions: Never Miss the Red Flags

Only doctors can determine the severity of a concussion. Never assume it is minor when dealing with head injuries. If there is any question as to whether someone has a concussion or not, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Symptoms of Concussions:                        

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Memory loss or blackouts
  • Impaired speech
  • Blurred or fuzzy vision
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing
  • Sleep problems

Tips for Avoiding Head Injuries

Avoiding head injuries seems easy, however, not everyone knows the best practices in ensuring their safety.

General Tips:

  • It is common knowledge that driving while impaired is a bad idea. However, it is also dangerous to be a passenger when someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Keeping firearms under lock and key is a safe practice to avoid any injury. But, it is also important to avoid head injuries.
  • Wear seatbelts at all time. A driver and passengers in any moving vehicle should wear protective belts at all times.
  • Trips and falls are the most common ways people suffer from brain injuries. Remove hazards like loose rugs, electrical cords, and scattered toys. Window guards and safety gates are the best practices to keep a safe home. Hand rails and bars are ideal additions for people who are frail, elderly, or have a disability.
  • Obey traffic signals when driving, walking, and cycling.

The American Society for Testing and Materials recommends that protective headgear is a requirement for specific sports 100 percent of the time.

Sports that require safety apparel, gear, helmets, or headgear at all times:

  • Ice and street hockey
  • Cycling and biking
  • Horseback riding
  • Skateboarding, roller skating, and rollerblading
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Football
  • Wrestling
  • Baseball and softball while batting
  • Recreational vehicles

Additional sports that should utilize safety equipment are martial arts, soccer, and pole vaulting.

Other sports tips:

  • Safety checks on sports fields, equipment, and playgrounds
  • Do not play sports when sick or tired
  • Follow the rules at pools and water parks
  • Do not dive into water that is less than nine feet deep, including pools and waterways
  • Do not wear loose or unsafe clothing while partaking in physical activity
  • Remain on flat surfaces when cycling and skateboarding
  • Supervise all minors at all time, especially when participating in sports

The Journey to Recovery and Rehabilitation

Whether a minor or severe concussion, rest is the most important aspect of taking the first steps in recovery. Avoiding physical activity is a must if only to avoid further head injury by accident. Take your time during recovery. Do not rush the process.

In case of severe concussions, various therapies and doctor checkups are a requirement. Feeling better is not a reason to miss a scheduled appointment or follow-up.

Safety first is crucial to avoid head injuries and concussions. Following simple tips and professional recommendations provides the safeguard to suffering long-term consequences of ​head trauma.

If you experience a concussion or other TBI, reach out to the team at TryMunity. Join a national community of TBI survivors, caretakers, family, and friends at

How to Handle Fatigue After a Brain Injury

Fatigue is a very common symptom for many individuals following a brain injury. Individuals following a brain injury may experience depression, sleep disturbances, and chronic pain. All of these factors, and more, can create both physical and mental fatigue.

If you or someone you love is currently experiencing fatigue following a brain injury, there are ways to help. Read below for some tips on how to handle this inconvenient and frustrating issue.

Follow up with your doctor

As stated above, many different issues related to your brain injury may be impacting your fatigue and your ability to get adequate rest. Your doctor will be able to help you determine whether or not your fatigue is related to medication side effects, depression, stress, or the brain injury itself.

Your doctor is the expert on your care, so be sure to check in with them regularly, and especially if you have significant changes in your fatigue or in your ability to function.

Schedule time to Rest

We live in a busy world in which we are all pushed to go, go, go all the time. Be sure that you are scheduling in periods of rest throughout your busy day. Time of rest is integral to managing your fatigue and making it through the day. These periods of rest should be free of distractions and responsibilities.

If possible, speak with your family and employer to see how you can schedule in periods of rest in your day.

Ask for Help

We all have times in our lives where we need support from those we love. If you are experiencing intense fatigue following a brain injury be sure to let others know how to best support you. Although it can be difficult to ask others for their support, knowing that you do not have to accomplish everything on your own may help to relieve stress and improve your feelings of fatigue.

Try to live a healthy lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle, including a consistently healthy diet and exercise will do wonders for your fatigue. Be sure that you are eating three meals a day and avoiding excessive caffeine or sugar. Although caffeine and sugar may provide you with a short boost of energy, they will also create a sugar crash shortly after. Caffeine may also impact your ability to get high quality sleep.

Be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any sort of exercise or significant change in your diet.

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

Do you have further questions about chronic fatigue after a brain injury? 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.

Tips to Care for Children with TBI

Child SleepingWe know how incredibly difficult that caring for a child with a TBI can be. That’s why we’ve provided some tips, listed below, for doing just that:

  1. Help your child feel comfortable with his or her appearance, as best you can. It can be hard for children of any age to undergo a drastic change in their appearance. To help your child feel more comfortable with his or her appearance, encourage them to talk openly with you — if they feel comfortable doing so. On the other hand, if your child does NOT feel comfortable talking about their physicality, that’s perfectly fine, too! Take their lead when it comes to discussing physical appearances, and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
  2. Focus on the day-to-day. Every day, there will be little successes (and yes, sometimes failures, too). It’s important to focus on these successes, however small they may be — the TBI recovery process can be long and difficult, and sometimes, it helps to narrow in on the positive.
  3. Take advantage of your local TBI community and resources. When your child experiences a TBI, it’s crucial to get involved with a community that understands what you are going through. By doing so, you’ll help your child in ways you can’t even imagine — as well as yourself.

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You! Contact Us Today.

Do you have further questions about how to care for your children with TBI? At TryMunity, we provide a vast web of resources and 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.

Celebrities That Support TBI Prevention and Research

Celebrities may seem as if they have the perfect lives, but underneath the glitz and the glamour, there are quite a few who know firsthand how debilitating a TBI can be. Now, they’re reaching out to support the TBI community.

Here are three celebrities who support TBI prevention and research.

Gary Busey

Before 1988, Gary Busey was an acclaimed actor. He’d landed great roles, and he was instantly recognizable. Then everything changed on December 4, 1988. Busey was in a motorcycle accident, and he wasn’t wearing a helmet. The crash left him with a fractured skull and a lifetime of brain damage. Today Busey advocates for TBI survivors. When he won “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011, he donated his $40,000 winnings to The Center of Head Injury Services.

Amy Davis

In 2004, Amy Davis was crowned Miss Utah, but three years earlier, she suffered a serious TBI when she fell during a cheerleading stunt. A gifted pianist, Davis focused on music to help her cope with her injury and the depression that followed, and she is now getting her master’s degree in music/piano performance at the University of Utah. She is still an advocate for TBI survivors and was a spokesperson for the Brain Injury Association of America.

Steve Young

As a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Steven Young was on top of the world, but his career was hardly perfect. Before retiring in 1999, Young suffered seven concussions and experienced post-concussion syndrome in the weeks following his concussions. The NFL doesn’t have the best track record when dealing with concussions, and Young continues to speak out. He recently spoke about his experiences and his concern the future football players in the Front Line special, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.”

If you’re dealing with a TBI, you’re not alone. Celebrities are too. If you need support, come and join our support group at

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.


Understanding the Severity of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain InjuryMost people would agree that the human brain is one of the most important organs in the body. It is the brain that gives each person his or her own unique personality as well as controls how the rest of the body functions. When a person experiences a traumatic brain injury, the side effects can be mild or extremely severe. TryMunity is here to help.

Brain Injury Causes

You may think that few people suffer from a traumatic brain injury, but that is not the case. It is estimated that nearly 2 million people per year develop or receive a severe head injury. They can be caused by:

  • Repetitive concussions, seen most often in contact sports such as rugby, lacrosse, hockey, and football
  • A single, hard hit to the head, such as when a person falls and hits concrete or other hard surface
  • Whiplash or other head trauma found in high speed motor vehicle crashes.

Getting Support Through Difficult Symptoms

A traumatic brain injury has a host of symptoms that can range from slightly irritating to completely life-altering. Many of the people who have a brain injury feel like there is no one who understands what they or a loved one are going through. They do not need to feel alone anymore.

If you would get more information or would like to chat with others who are going through a similar situation to your own, visit the TryMunity Community. You can become part of a global support group that is dedicated to helping those who have had severe head injuries.

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries

What do NFL All-Decade Team member Brett Favre, football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Army Private First Class Brandon Budfuloski, and Woodbridge Warriors High School sportsinjurystudent Tyler Branin have in common? Each has sought head injury treatment after a concussion.

Concussions, a mild form of traumatic brain injury or TBI, can occur when a person takes a hard blow to the head or when a severe jolt shakes the head and impedes on normal brain function.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), at least 1.7 million TBIs occur annually and are contributing factors to 30 percent of all injury-related deaths.

TBI—What is it?

Effects of TBI can include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Concentration
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Hearing problems
  • Lethargy
  • Memory problems
  • Vision problems

Though a mild TBI may cause these symptoms for a short time, long-term or life-long symptoms can affect a victim with severe TBI. Sometimes, it can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, or death.

TBI, once an unfamiliar term to the general public, has gained notoriety in recent years. Due to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many U.S. soldiers have suffered TBI through direct traumatic contact or by being near the source of an explosion.

According to the Brain Trauma Foundation, in October 2006, 1,652 soldiers and marines who served in those wars were diagnosed with TBI. Recent data suggests that the number of those affected with TBI could be as high as 300,000.

Some people exhibit symptoms of TBI who have never experienced a traumatic blow to the head. These people may be symptomatic as a result of having ADHD, Autism, brain tumors, Cerebral Palsy, early onset of dementia, or stroke. Persons suffering from non-traumatic induced TBI-type symptoms must be treated as seriously as those that have trauma-induced TBI.

What to do if you or someone you know suffers from TBI Symptoms?

The good news is that the brain responds well to treatment. TBI treatment has come a long way in the last 10 years – Seek out treatment plans as soon as possible. If you are in need of a neurologist, Dallas has fine options and resources.

Severe TBI needs to be treated immediately. If you think someone may have experienced TBI, that person should be taken to a doctor without delay.

Chronic TBI symptoms can be treated in an outpatient clinic. When looking for a clinic, find one that offers a full evaluation that includes blood work. Looking at all aspects, internal and external, creates a thorough picture of the problem, which leads to a better diagnoses and appropriate treatment plan.

Neurological, physical, and vestibular testing should be part of the analysis. Fully tested individuals will have a better recovery rate because the actual damage will be more fully understood.

As TBI and TBI-type symptoms are treated, their needs will evolve. A reputable clinic will continually assess the needs of the patient and will update treatment options as needed.

Treatment Options

The types of treatment you may expect could include:

  • Changes in lifestyle
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Recreational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Vocational counseling

If you suspect that you or someone near you has experienced a TBI or suffers with TBI-type symptoms due to any other condition, the most important thing to remember is to get the victim to the hospital right away. Consequences can be severe and may even lead to death. A clinic that specializes in TBI treatment plans can safe your life.

Brain Injury Explained

This infographic from Leigh Day Brain Injury Lawyers explains the causes of brain injury in a nice visual.

Rep. Pascrell Introduces Legislation Requiring Stronger Standards for Youth Football Helmets Bill Would Help Protect Young Athletes from Sports-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, was joined by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) today in introducing bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting youth athletes from the dangers of sports-related traumatic brain injuries. The Youth Sports Concussion Act of 2013 would ensure that new and reconditioned football helmets for high school and younger players meet safety standards that address concussion risk and the needs of youth athletes. The bill also increases potential penalties for using false injury prevention claims to sell helmets and other sports equipment. Companion legislation was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM).

“The dangers multiple concussions pose to our young athletes is well known, so it’s imperative we do everything possible to protect them on the playing field,” said Rep. Pascrell. “I’ve fought to ensure there are resources available to young athletes that sustain a brain injury, and this legislation will bring us one step closer to preventing these devastating injuries to begin with. The only thing standing between athletes and serious injury is their equipment, which is why manufactures must be held to the highest possible standard. We cannot jeopardize the health and safety of our young athletes by allowing inferior equipment into their locker rooms.”

“As a father of three sons who can’t wait to play tackle football, I want to do everything we can to protect young people from suffering head injuries on the field,” Rooney said. “We can’t completely eliminate the risks of playing youth sports, but we can make sure that helmets and other equipment meet the highest safety standards for our kids.”

Although football helmet safety technology has improved since the days of leather helmets, today’s helmet safety standards may not be informed by current understanding of concussion risks. For example, the current industry standard primarily protects against serious injury from a severe, direct blow. However, it does not specifically address the risk of a concussion caused by less severe impacts or by rotational acceleration resulting from hits that spin the head and brain. The standard for reconditioning used football helmets also does not specify how often old helmets must be recertified.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act of 2013 sets a deadline, nine months after enactment, for improvements by industry groups to the voluntary standard for football helmets. If that deadline is not met, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) must set mandatory football helmet standards to protect children’s safety.

Sports are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury for people who are 15 to 24 years old, behind only motor vehicle crashes. Every year American athletes suffer up to an estimated 3.8 million sports-related concussions. More than one million American high school students play football, including nearly 8,000 high school students in New Mexico.

Rep. Pascrell has been raising awareness of traumatic brain injury dangers and treatments for 13 years, including the passage of his Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act, which provides for national protocols to be established for managing sports-related concussions.

In March, Rep. Pascrell hosted the 12th Annual Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, a conference that educates Members of Congress and their staffs on the full range of effects of brain injury, the challenges and recoveries of persons living with brain injury, and the services and supports available to them.

Supporters of the Youth Sports Concussion Act of 2013 include: NFL, NFL Players Association, Major League Baseball, MLB Players Association, NBA, NHL, NCAA, Major League Soccer (MLS) Players Union, American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Pediatrics, Brain Injury Association of America, Brain Trauma Foundation, Cleveland Clinic, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Natl. Consumers League, Safe Kids USA, Natl. Assoc. of State Head Injury Administrators, Natl. Athletic Trainers Association, Natl. Fed. of State High School Associations (NFHS), NOCSAE, US Lacrosse and US Soccer Federation.

Thomas A. Pietrykoski
Communications Director
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09)
P: (973) 523-5152 F: (973) 523-0637