Author: Lois Lee, MD, MPH

Heading towards safer sports

Having grown up in the Deep South –Tallahassee, Florida to be exact–I spent many weekends watching college football (Go ‘Noles!!). At the time it seemed everyone was enthralled with the action on the field, but few seemed overly concerned about the future health of the players. Many people cheered for yard gains and devastating blocks, but few seemed to think about the long-term effects those hits could have for the boys on the gridiron. Fortunately things are changing.

There is now growing awareness of the effects of repeated head trauma and concussions based on the experiences of professional football players and other athletes like Mohammed Ali. In response the NFL just passed new rules governing hits in the league, hoping to reduce the amount of head injuries sustained by its players. A good move for protecting the long term health of the athletes, and one that’s likely to be replicated by college and high school sports programs as well. It’s a step in the right direction, but based on my experiences there’s still a great deal of information that patients, parents and coaches still need to learn about concussions.

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R U Ready 2 Stop TXting?

MA drivers younger than 18 are banned from using phones in any capacity while driving.

Lois Lee, MD, MPH, works in Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program

CRUNCH!! The sickening sound and subsequent lurch forward were undeniable: the dreaded sound and feel of another car running directly into the back of mine. At first I was shaken, then utterly confused as to how it could have happened. Sure, the roads were a little slick from the rain, but that had lightened up a long time ago. Not only that, but traffic at the time was standing still! How, with dry roads and street congestion, did a  driver manage to bump into my car?

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Keeping teen swimmers safe

Teen swimmers are more likely to engage in high risk behavior around water
Teen swimmers are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors

Lois Lee, MD, MPH, works in Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program

As a physician, there are certain patients’ stories that stay with you long after you’ve treated them. The dog days of summer remind me of when I was a resident and treated a teenager who nearly drowned in a lake. The patient survived, but only after suffering severe brain damage. He was part of a larger group of kids who went to a nearby lake to escape the heat and blow off some steam, but one of them couldn’t swim well and got in trouble. My patient saw him struggling and bound out into the deep waters to help.

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Proper window safety is crucial for homes with young children

kid looking out windowIt was reported yesterday that a toddler in Lowell fell out of a second-story window and had to be rushed to Children’s Hospital Boston for emergency care. Falls from windows are very dangerous for toddlers and small children, and as the weather gets warmer the number cases involving kids tumbling through windows that are only screened in are expected to rise.

In this installment of her monthly injury prevention column Lois Lee, MD, MPH of Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program, discusses the dangers of leaving windows open in homes with small children.

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