As you are settling in to watch your daughter or son’s soccer game or hockey practice, here’s a good thing to do: download the new Concussion Response Tool on your smartphone or tablet. The tool, recently launched by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, guides parents in knowing how to respond if their child gets a hit to the head or other part of the body while playing sports and being active.
What to do if You Think Your Child Has a Concussion
Is taking your child out of the game the right thing to do after they’ve been hit, even if they want to continue to play? The answer is YES: being on the sideline is the safest thing to do when it comes to concussions. It’s the only way to avoid potentially serious brain complications if your child has been injured.
In case of a hit or impact to your child’s head, open up the Concussion Response Tool for credible, reliable information. Here’s a preview of what to do, as outlined by the tool:
- The coach or trainer should first do basic first aid, check for concussion red flags, and remove your child from play.
- The coach, trainer or you (the parent or caregiver), should then monitor for the start of symptoms, looking for specific behaviours as listed in the tool. (The tool is “fillable” and lets you make notes right on your tablet or smartphone.)
- Continue monitoring and take your child to the doctor for assessment.
Some things you may not know about concussions:
- Concussions are hard to diagnose – even most brain scans can’t really detect them.
- While helmets and other equipment (like mouthguards) are important in preventing injuries, they don’t prevent concussions.
- You don’t have to “pass out” to have a concussion. The symptoms can sometimes show up days later.
The Concussion Response Tool was developed by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, an agency of experts supported by the Ministry of Health to help prevent injuries in the province. The tool is just one resource that is part of an online course called the Concussion Awareness Training Tool. Other resources include a list of questions to ask your doctor about concussions. Download this list and take the course free online at cattonline.com.