Health Watch — Parenting: Head Injuries

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about things parents can do to ensure their children’s health and safety. While school sports are excellent for helping kids get exercise and learn teamwork, they can also raise the risk for head injury.

Dr. Ramón Díaz-Arrastia, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says helmets reduce the risk for brain injury, but young athletes need to be aware that they shouldn’t return to the game after they’ve had a blow to the head, even while wearing a helmet. A blow to the head increases the risk of injury from a second blow, and athletic trainers are increasingly aware of this risk. Children who play sports should learn that this isn’t a good time to “tough it out” and keep playing.

Young people also tend to get head injuries from car accidents — especially those associated with drinking and driving or driving carelessly — and from riding bicycles without wearing helmets.

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October 2007

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