The winter season is the perfect opportunity to learn about the risks of traumatic brain injuries. In fact, January is National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month.

The following statistics show the serious potential for getting a TBI during the winter:

  • 30 percent of extreme sports concussions occur during snowboarding
  • 25 percent of extreme sports concussions occur during skiing
  • 11 percent of all extreme sports injuries between 2000 and 2011 involved the head and neck

Wintertime TBIs not only occur due to winter sports but also slip-and-fall accidents and motor vehicle collisions. Understanding the causes of TBIs and being careful during the winter can help you stay safe. Here are a few safety tips to avoid winter head injuries. 

Equip yourself with helmets and protective gear

Protective equipment is crucial if you are partaking in any of the following activities:

  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Ice hockey

Make sure you have a helmet that fits securely whenever you participate in winter sports. 

Understand your limitations

No matter how much experience you have with wintertime activities, remember that accidents can happen to anyone. It is crucial to learn from professionals, start cautiously and practice patience. While winter sports are thrilling and fun, do not get too confident or careless. 

Know the symptoms of brain injuries

If you hit your head, it is crucial to be able to recognize the signs of a concussion or other TBI. Common symptoms include headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness, memory loss and confusion or disorientation, as well as speech problems and lack of coordination.

Even if you do not notice symptoms right away, stay alert if any arise. Many TBI signs do not present themselves until a few days or weeks after an accident. 

Knowledge is power. By preparing yourself for the worst, you can reduce your chances of getting a brain injury. If you hit your head during the winter and notice any potential symptoms, make sure you seek a diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional.