Our Office of Injury Prevention has released the 2014 Traumatic Brain Injury report that shows deaths and inpatient hospitalizations have decreased in Arizona by about 15 percent since 2010, but more people are being seen in emergency departments. A traumatic brain injury is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a penetrating head injury that disrupts brain function. The severity can range from mild to severe, with many levels in between.

Data from the report shows that 1,233 Arizona residents died as a result of a traumatic brain injury in 2014 , with many more hospitalized and treated in emergency departments. Males have much higher mortality rates than females, and the leading causes of death are firearms, falls, and motor vehicle crashes.

You can do several things to prevent traumatic brain injuries. Always buckle your child in the car using the appropriate safety seat, and adults should wear a seatbelt every time you drive or ride in a vehicle. Wear helmets and make sure your child is wearing a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle, ATV, scooter, skateboard, hoverboard, rollerblading, horseback riding, and playing any type of contact sport. Make living areas safer for seniors by removing tripping hazards, installing handrails, and improving lighting in and around the home. And make living areas for children safer by installing gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs and window guards to prevent falls from the window.

For more tips on preventing traumatic brain injuries visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]