South African Government

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World Head Injury Awareness Day 2018

20 March

Head injuries can vary from a mild bump on the head to severe brain injury. The purpose of World Head Injury Awareness Day is to remind us of how we could reduce accidents and brain injuries. It advocates the correct use of safety gadgets such as helmets and seat belts, which can prevent damage to the head when one is involved in an accident.

Globally every year more than 5% of people suffer serious brain injury after an accident or as a result of accidentally bumping their head.

An estimated 89 000 cases of new traumatic brain injuries are reported annually in South Africa.

Causes of head injuries

The three most common causes of head injuries are: motor vehicle, bicycle or vehicle-pedestrian accidents (50%), falls (25%), and violence (20%).

Preventing head injuries

  • Always wear a seat belt when in a motor vehicle
  • Use an appropriate child safety seat
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Always wear a helmet when on a bicycle, motorcycle or scooter
  • Use the rails on stairways
  • Provide adequate lighting on stair for people with poor vision
  • Do not place obstacles on pathways
  • Provide the correct safety equipment for workers.

Remember that if you spend one more moment being mindful of your surroundings you can avoid spending a lifetime living with disability due to head injury.

Source: National Institute for Occupational Health


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