January is National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month: Recognizing Head and Neck Injuries

Head and Neck InjuriesEvery year, throughout January, The Johnny OTM Foundation, along with the CDC, local urgent care centers, like eMedical Urgent Care, and surrounding sports clubs, work to raise awareness about common health risks related to participation in winter sports. Some of the common injuries related to winter sports include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures. While all winter sports injuries should be taken seriously, head and neck injuries are especially serious as they have the potential to cause long-term health problems.

About National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month

It doesn’t matter if you’re five or 50, safety in the snow is important for all ages. The more you know, the more you and your family can have a safe and healthy winter season.

TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. It’s a common result of head and neck injuries associated with winter activities such as skating, skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, sledding and tobogganing. The Johnny O Foundation along with National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month is a public campaign to highlight the dangers and importance of taking precautionary measures when participating in those sports. Their main goal is to decrease TBIs in the country.

Statistics on Head and Neck Injuries

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, each year, there are approximately 1.7 million head injuries in the United States. Commonly caused by falling or colliding into another person or object while skiing or skating, many of these accidents lead to head injures such as a concussion or TBI.

The top causes of TBI include:

  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Softball & Basketball
  • Water Sports
  • Soccer
  • Powered Recreational Vehicles
  • Skateboards
  • Scooters
  • Golf
  • Fitness & Exercise
  • Winter Sports
  • Horseback Riding
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Cheerleading

However, not all head and neck injuries are related to sports. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 30% of TBI causes results from falls. So, whether you’re taking the dog out for a walk on an icy sidewalk or hitting the ice for a hockey game, you could be at risk. But just because there’s risk, that’s no reason to lock up and put life on hold. Go ahead and head out to enjoy the New Jersey snow, just exercise caution.

Preventing Head and Neck Injuries in the Winter

Since falls are one of the leading causes of TBIs, take caution on icy surfaces: walk slowly, wear boots with good tread and pay attention to the surface you’re walking on.

Preventive measures, such as wearing protective head equipment, choosing helmets that fit correctly and following safety rules, can help those who participate in winter sports prevent head and neck injuries. New to the sport? Don’t be afraid to take lessons.

Proceed with Caution

If you suspect a loved one has suffered a concussion or TBI, it is important to take the injured individual out of the activity until he or she has been thoroughly evaluated by an experienced medical professional. We offer convenient walk-in hours designed to fit your busy schedule; learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

The physicians at eMedical Urgent Care want to remind you and your loved ones to enjoy the winter season, but stay safe by taking proper precautions during play.

Sidelined by Summer Sports? Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care Is Here When You Need Us Most

More and more kids are playing organized sports, but along with summer fun and fitness comes the rise of injuries. eMedical Urgent Care and pediatric walk-in clinics in Middletown and Berkeley Heights are committed to providing superior for sports injuries by board-certified physicians.

Sidelined by Summer Sports? Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent CarePut me in coach! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.6 million children up to the age of 19 receive emergency care for sports and recreation-related activities. Although the nature of sports and other recreational activities lends itself to occasional accidents, knowing basic safety procedures can help to prevent injuries in young athletes.

Be Prepared with a Sports Physical

Before starting any sports leagues, it’s important to make sure your child has received their pre-participation physical exam (PPE). Our urgent care doctors are here to administer a sports physical including the medical history and physical exam. No appointment is required, so you may walk in whenever it’s convenient for you and your child.

Wear Protective Gear

Many parents assume that proper equipment is the key to safety, but experts caution against becoming complacent. Growing athletes require properly sized gear; what fit last summer may not fit this summer. Pads and helmets are not effective unless they fit correctly.

Helmet ControversySummer Sports Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care

You may have heard of the controversies over whether helmets do more harm than good. Recent evidence suggests that concussions are caused by rotational motion, rather than angular—or forward and backward—motion. Regardless, plenty of research shows that wearing protective equipment does reduce the risk of injuries, although some critics still say kids actually play rougher when they’re wearing helmets or heavy gear because they think they’re better protected.

Stay Hydrated

Before, during and after the game it’s always important for young athletes to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. A good rule of thumb is to drink 30 minutes prior to playing and then every 15-20 minutes during play time.

Be a Role Model

Demonstrate the importance of safety and sportsmanship to your children. Teaching young athletes to play by the rules of their sport can prevent unnecessary aggression (resulting in injuries) on the field.


Schedule at least one day off per week from sports to allow the body to recover. Also, be sure to take breaks throughout intense exercise. Rest periods during practice and games can help reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.

eMedical Urgent Care for Sports Injuries and Sports Physicals

eMedical Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care treats a wide array of sports injuries and administers sports physicals at both of our locations. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.