As the “voice of brain injury,” the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is the oldest and largest brain injury advocacy organization in the United States. Advocacy, research, and educating the public have been the primary focuses of the Brain Injury Association through the years.1 There are more than 40 chartered state affiliates and hundreds of local chapters and support groups in the nationwide network.2
The National Head Injury Foundation (NHIF) was formed in 1980 with a mission to “effect change for individuals with brain injury.” Their mission was broadened to include preventing brain injuries in 1983, and the organization’s name was officially changed to the Brain Injury Association of America in 2003.3
Because serious head injury can be caused by falls from playground equipment, the Brain Injury Association has been involved in promoting the use of safety surfacing below playground equipment to absorb some of the impact of falls. The industry safety surfacing standards concentrate on minimizing the likelihood of life-threatening injuries resulting from falls that result in head injuries. Measuring g-forces (acceleration due to gravity) and HIC (head injury criteria) guide recommended minimum depths of safety surfacing under playgrounds.4
The Brain Injury Association has also been involved in promoting the use of helmets when children ride bicycles, skateboards, and motorized all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles.5 Nationwide in 2007, 92% of bicyclists killed reportedly were not wearing helmets.6 Research has shown that approximately 85% of bicyclists’ head injuries can be prevented by wearing bicycle helmets.7
The Brain Injury Association also encourages use of helmets for children playing contact sports, such as football, ice hockey, and boxing as well as when batting and running bases in baseball or softball.8 The increased concern of sports-related concussions is an ongoing issue being studied.9
- 1. “About Us.” Brain Injury Association of America. < http://www.biausa.org/About-Us/about-brain-injury-association.htm > 23 Feb. 2011.
- 2. “Welcome to the Brain Injury Association of America.” Brain Injury Association of America. < http://www.biausa.org > 16 May 2011.
- 3. Op. cit., “About Us.”
- 4. “Safe Playground Surfaces.” PTO Today. < http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/403 > 16 May 2011.
- 5. “Prevention.” Brain Injury Association of America. < http://www.biausa.org/Default.aspx?PageID=4225856&A=SearchResult&SearchID=2274093&ObjectID=4225856&ObjectType=1 > 16 May 2011.
- 6. “The Importance of Wearing a Bicycle Helmet.” Brain Injury Association of Delaware brochure.
- 7. “CPSC Issues New Safety Standard for Bike Helmets.” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. < http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml98/98062.html > 17 May 2011.
- 8. Op. cit., “Prevention.” Brain Injury Association of America. < http://www.biausa.org/Default.aspx?PageID=4226915&A=SearchResult&SearchID=2274093&ObjectID=4226915&ObjectType=1 > 16 May 2011.
- 9. Op. cit., “About Us.”