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E. The Best Prevention of Head Injury is Protection

Narrator: This is Science Today. Of the various popular sports that American children are involved with, bicycling and basketball cause the most injuries in children. And yet most of these injuries - especially those to the head - can be prevented. In fact, Dr. David Hovda, director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, says protection is better than anything else in terms of preventing serious head injury.

Hovda: Unfortunately, we've seen a number of kids that that have been hurt either riding bicycles or rollerblading that didn't think it was fashionable enough to wear a helmet at that particular time.

Narrator: Hovda says falls from bicycles or while rollerblading can be especially dangerous, since they often combine two dangerous movements: acceleration and rotation.

Hovda: The reason why this rotation is so deadly is that it takes the nervous tissue and it twists it and the greatest amount of torque happens in the middle part of the brain which is where a lot of the real critical areas are in terms of life support, heart rate and respiration.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.