Have you ever thought about what could happen if you or your family had a head injury? The brain is sensitive to impact. What seems a minor injury sometimes leads to a lifetime of suffering for the injured person, family, and friends. Possible consequences are loss of employment, homelessness, divorce, addictions, and personality changes, among others.

Have you ever thought about how dangerous popular summer sports are for you and your family? Certain activities in the BC Interior have a serious risk of brain injury. These include skateboarding, bicycling, riding ATVs, motorcycling, dirt biking, and horseback riding.

How can you make your summer safer? One approach is to avoid injury incidents by choosing activities at low risk for head injury. Another approach is to practice your preferred activities at safer locations and reduce energy by: riding on paths separated from motor vehicles, lowering speeds, choosing safer times of day, and avoiding dangerous combinations such as children and ATVs. Finally, personal protective equipment such as brightly coloured helmets approved for your chosen activity can raise visibility, and reduce risk if a crash does occur.

Peter Barss MD ScD MPH FRCPC
Medical Health Officer, Interior Health Authority
Salmon Arm, BC, Canada V1E 4N7