Maxillofacial trauma can be extremely complex and intricate. Different regions of the face control critical functions like seeing, tasting, smelling, speaking and breathing. Like the old adage advises, prevention of maxillofacial injury is truly the best medicine. Products and practices designed to safeguard the face are readily available, but sometimes people are distracted or forgetful and neglect to implement them.
Automobile accidents are a major cause of facial injury. While wearing a seat belt in a car has become second nature to most of us, there are still some who find the restraints constricting and uncomfortable. Too often the consequence of not buckling up is facial injury. As the vehicle operator, the driver must set the standard by wearing a seatbelt. Laws mandate and define the use of approved car seats for children. The child safety seat must be fastened in the back seat of the car according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Verify that each passenger is buckled in before proceeding.
Recreational sports injuries are another frequent cause of injury. Wearing appropriate protective mouth guards, masks, helmets or headgear for activities like mountain biking, skateboarding, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding and others is an important step toward prevention of harm. Be sure to wear a mouth protector when participating in contact sports. (A follow-up post will discuss recommended protective sports equipment in more detail.)