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    Wearing a Helmet Can “Protect Your Grape”

    Wearing a Helmet Can “Protect Your Grape”

    Photo By Jason Bortz | Sailors from Naval Hospital Pensacola’s Neurology Department and graduate students...... read more read more



    Story by Jason Bortz 

    NMRTC Pensacola

    PENSACOLA, Fla. – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 26,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency departments annually for traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

    The good news is that many head related injuries can be prevented by simply wearing a properly fitted helmet.

    To help create awareness of the importance of wearing a helmet, Naval Hospital Pensacola’s Neurology Department with support from the Anchor Clinic, a local behavioral medicine clinic, visited N.B. Cook Elementary School March 4 in Pensacola to encourage children to wear helmets when bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading or during other activities where head injuries can occur.

    “It’s important to educate children on the reasons for wearing a helmet,” said Lt. Joseph Cahill, neurologist, Naval Hospital Pensacola. “Children are often reluctant to wear helmets because they are worried about how they look wearing them or for various other reasons. It’s important to start educating them and their parents at a young age.”

    While at the school, the Sailors explained the importance of wearing a helmet and showed the children and their parents how to ensure a helmet fits properly. NHP also gave away over 60 helmets, but the children had to first take a pledge that they promised to wear the helmets.

    “This was a great opportunity to teach children about helmet safety and that it’s ‘cool’ to wear one,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Melissa Clayton, a corpsman with NHP’s Neurology Department. “The children loved getting the helmets and the parents were excited about them as well.”

    As a neurologist, Cahill has seen the horrific results that can occur from TBIs. A TBI is the result of a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. The severity of such an injury may range from "mild" – a brief change in mental status or consciousness - to "severe," which could cause an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.

    Common symptoms for TBIs include concussions, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, memory problems and mood swings. In severe cases, a TBI can lead to a coma and even death. Individuals who suffer severe injuries often require long-term rehabilitation that can have a dramatic impact on their quality of life and their family.

    “It doesn’t take a lot of force to cause an injury to the brain,” said Cahill. “Simply falling off of a bicycle at slow speeds can cause a serious injury to the head if a helmet is not worn, but the helmet must fit properly and be worn correctly. The helmet should fit snuggly, and a helmet with the strap not connected won’t help during a fall. We may only have one chance to protect our ‘grape’ in life.”

    Established in 1826, Naval Hospital Pensacola's mission is to provide patent centered superior quality health care to those it is privileged to serve. The command is comprised of the main hospital and 10 branch health clinics across five states. Of its patient population (over 150,000 active and retired Sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), almost 58,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and a Medical Home Port Team at one of its facilities. To find out more, visit or download the command’s mobile app (keyword: Naval Hospital Pensacola).



    Date Taken: 03.04.2017
    Date Posted: 03.06.2017 14:20
    Story ID: 225855
    Location: FL, US

    Web Views: 73
    Downloads: 0