Health Watch — Head Injuries: Preventing Injury

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 head injuries. We’ve discussed some research into how to best detect and treat serious brain trauma. But it’s best to avoid that trauma altogether. One thing you can do to help prevent head injuries is to wear a helmet when you ride a bike and make sure children wear bike helmets — but even a helmet doesn’t prevent all injuries.

Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says a helmet can protect against serious injuries such as  skull fractures, but it’s still possible to get injuries such as  concussions while wearing a helmet. That’s why it’s important to follow safe cycling practices even when you wear a helmet. Follow traffic rules and be aware of your surroundings. You should also make sure your helmet fits properly. It should be snug but comfortable, with the front coming down to two fingertips’ width above the eyes. The strap should be snug enough that the helmet dips a little when you open your mouth.

Visit to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical services in neurosciences.


July 2008

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