The promise of warmer weather in spring and the possibilities of outdoor recreation entices many adults and children to become physically active. Spring fever might compel people to embrace their favorite sports once again, but it's important that athletes take measures to protect their heads when suiting up.
The Head Injury Association says approximately 1.7 million people experience traumatic brain injuries every year in the United States. Playing sports also may contribute to cuts or bruises to the face, damage to teeth, and much more. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons reminds the public that many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of proper sports safety equipment, such as helmets and mouth guards.
Children under a certain age are now required to wear helmets when cycling, and many adults choose to wear helmets whenever they climb atop their bicycles. Helmets also offer added protection when skateboarding and rollerblading.
Mouth guards are invaluable pieces of equipment that should be used any time a person participates in sports, particularly when the face can come in contact with something hard - whether it's a ball, the pavement or another player - says AAOMS.
Injured parties should visit a dentist immediately if a tooth is displaced, or within 24 hours if they suffer a broken tooth. A cracked piece of tooth can be stored in water or milk until a dentist can reattach it.
Facial injuries can result in permanent scarring if a plastic surgeon is not consulted. Helmets, face guards and mouth guards can prevent such injuries and the potentially costly surgeries that are sometimes necessary to treat them.