Stop the Invisible Injury–Parents and Coaches Share the Responsibility, Part 2

This is Part 2 of our 2-part series. In Part 1, we talked about the prevalence of concussions, the signs and symptoms, and the important role parents and coaches play in preventing and treating them.

 

Based on a foundation of competition and physical perseverance, it’s hard to withstand the “win at all costs” pressure that has come to exist in athletics.  CoachUp football coach and former Patriots offensive tackle, Max Lane, recognizes that pressure but also understands the life-long impact this injury can have on an athlete.  “Everybody wants to win.  Coaches have to let the players know that at the beginning of the season that the coach is fostering an atmosphere of safety first, even when that means safety over winning.  The coach has to communicate to the players that it’s okay for them to speak up if they’ve been hit in the head.” [Read more...]

Stop the Invisible Injury–Parents and Coaches Share the Responsibility, Part 1

Suffering from a concussion can occur in any sport, and at all levels of play, from little league to the major leagues.  In fact, the US Center for Disease Control estimates 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities each year.  Early education and a shift in the “tough it out” mentality is needed in order to reduce the frequency of concussions in young athletes, as well as, reduce the number of concussions that go undiagnosed.  Parents and coaches have to raise the bar and set the standard that the athlete’s health is first priority. [Read more...]

Concussions: Getting Your Head in the Game Isn’t Always Smart

ptsd

heading soccer ball can cause brain damageIf you’re a soccer fan, nothing can compare with the sight of a player “heading” the ball into the goal. Being able to do that takes years of practice—practice that aside from improving skills, may be causing brain damage–even if it doesn’t cause a concussion.  [Read more...]

Talking about Sex + Understanding Concussions

[amazon asin=0738215082&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Deborah Roffman, author of Talk to Me First.
Topic: Everything you need to know to become your kids’ “go-to” person about sex.
Issues: Teach kids to view sexually-saturated media critically; how to become an approachable, askable resource for your children; how to foster ongoing conversations about difficult topics; put meaningful context around the topic of sexuality in a world where most messages are misguided and uninformed.


[amazon asin=161168224X&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, author of Ahead of the Game.
Topic: Understanding youth sports concussions.
Issues: What exactly is a concussion? When can a child who’s had a concussion get back on the field? How concussions negatively affect children’s GPA, school performance, and emotional behavior; helmets and mouthguards—even when properly fitted—can’t prevent concussion; why girls are more vulnerable to concussion that boys; why state concussion laws may not be enough to keep kids safe.

Be the Go-to Person about Sex + Preventing and Treating Concussion + Winning Your Son’s Heart + Getting to 3rd Base

[amazon asin=0738215082&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Deborah Roffman, author of Talk to Me First.
Topic: Everything you need to know to become your kids’ “go-to” person about sex.
Issues: Teach kids to view sexually-saturated media critically; how to become an approachable, askable resource for your children; how to foster ongoing conversations about difficult topics; put meaningful context around the topic of sexuality in a world where most messages are misguided and uninformed.


[amazon asin=161168224X&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, author of Ahead of the Game.
Topic: Understanding youth sports concussions.
Issues: What exactly is a concussion? When can a child who’s had a concussion get back on the field? How concussions negatively affect children’s GPA, school performance, and emotional behavior; helmets and mouthguards—even when properly fitted—can’t prevent concussion; why girls are more vulnerable to concussion that boys; why state concussion laws may not be enough to keep kids safe.


[amazon asin=1600061001&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 3: John Davis, author of Extreme Pursuit.
Topic: Winning the race for the heart of your son.
Issues: Teen boys are driven by design to be extraordinary, to build and make an impact on their world. But left unchecked, this intensity can fuel destructive behavior. When our teens are slipping away, how do we get them back?


[amazon asin=B007W8MKQ0&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 4: Logan Levkoff, author of Third Base Ain’t What It Used to Be.
Topic: What your kids are learning about sex today, and how to teach them to become sexually healthy adults.
Issues: Ending the hysteria about sex ed by clarifying the difference between the facts of puberty and the values every parent holds; sex is good, and sex education equals life education; when parents ignore kids’ questions about sexuality, those kids turn to their peers for information—and information from kids on the school bus can be dreadfully wrong.

Is your child using his head? Maybe he shouldn’t be

When I was about 10, I was playing on a  little league baseball team. In one game I lost a fly ball in the sun and the ball hit me in the head. I lost consciousness for a few seconds, which was probably a good thing since getting hit in the head with a fly ball was one of the most embarrassing moments of my young life. My dad took me to the emergency room and they sent me home after a few hours of observation. Fortunately, no concussion.

I was pretty lucky, but thousands of other kids aren’t. Some get their brain rattled in a fall, others playing sports. Even activities people thought were safe, like heading a soccer ball, interestingly, can produce a concussion (heading has actually been linked to brain damage).

Concussions are definitely not something you can just shake off and go back to whatever you were doing when it happened (assuming you can remember what that was). For most kids, the symptoms go away within a few months, but for 10-20 percent of young concussion survivors, symptoms–including forgetfulness, fatigue, difficulty paying attention, balance problems, and headaches–can last a year or longer.

If your child has received a good smack on the head, it’s important to pay attention to his or her behavior afterwards. If your child exhibits any concussion symptoms (different sleeping patterns, mood changes, problems with thinking and decision making) the CDC recommends that you get in to see the child’s pediatrician. And if the child is complains of headaches that won’t go away, seems to been uncoordinated, vomits or is nauseous, slurs his speech, or won’t eat or nurse, get in your can and head off to the hospital right away.

There’s an abstract of the full study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, here: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/archpediatrics.2011.1082