LANSING — More than 10,000 people are hospitalized across the state each year because of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). To help raise awareness of these often-preventable injuries, September has been declared TBI Awareness Month by Gov. Rick Snyder.

A TBI is any injury that occurs to the brain. It is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI.

In 2015, 11,526 people in Michigan sustained a TBI. Among those injured, 1,516 died where TBI was reported as a cause of death on the death certificate alone or in combination with other injuries or conditions, and another 10,010 were hospitalized.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging Michiganders to learn about injury prevention strategies to keep themselves and their families safe. TBIs most often result from falls, motor vehicle accidents and sports-related trauma.

“There are many ways to reduce the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury,” said Nick Lyon, MDHHS director. “Specifically, parents, older adults and caregivers are encouraged to take steps to eliminate the risk for these types of injuries and keep their loved ones safe.”

Prevention strategies include:

■ Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or rider in a vehicle, and properly using child safety and booster seats for children.

Wearing helmet when:

■ Riding a motorcycle, bike, snowmobile, scooter, all-terrain vehicle or horse.

■ Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey or boxing.

■ Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard.

■ Batting and running bases in baseball or softball.

■ Skiing or snowboarding.

Making living areas safer for seniors by:

■ Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways.

■ Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors and installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.

■ Installing handrails on both sides of stairways.

■ Improving lighting throughout the home.

■ Maintaining a regular physical activity program to improve lower body strength and balance.

Making living areas safer for children by:

■ Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows.

■ Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

■ Making sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

For more tips to keep the home safe, people may visit cpsc.gov and safekids.org. More information about sports concussions is available at michigan.gov/sportsconcussion. Additional resources for seniors for classes to prevent falls and improve mobility and independence may be found at greatatanyagemi.com.