Note! This advice must not replace your doctor’s recommendations. All suspected concussions should be evaluated by a physician.
If you or your children play or follow sports, you’ve surely heard the term “concussion”. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Direct impact to the head (i.e., hitting your head on the field of play), a blow to the body (i.e., bodycheck in hockey), or sudden jarring (i.e., football tackle) can all result in a concussion. When any of these happen, the brain shakes or shifts inside the skull and may hit its sides.
Compared to a scrapped knee, checking the damage is much harder because of the brain’s location. So it’s important, when a concussion is suspected, to stop playing and visit a physician. Read this great blog to learn what to do when your child, friend, or teammate suffers a concussion. It provides a link to an action sheet of steps you should take as well as a concussion tool kit for parents, players, and coaches.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Concussion?
The timeline for recovery from a concussion varies from person to person. That’s why it’s a good idea for anyone who suffers from a concussion to work as a team with a physician, their family, and if applicable, coaches and their school.
How Can You Prevent Concussions?
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more fitting. A few easy ways you can reduce the risk:
- Always wear a helmet or protective head gear in sports and activities where there may be contact or falls. Make sure the helmet fits properly, is in good shape and is activity-specific. Read more on choosing helmets for young children.
- Develop a culture of safe sports and respect. Learn what concussions are, the importance of reporting them and what needs to happen before returning to play.
- For those sports that do involve contact, teach players how to do it safely and responsibly.
- Choose safe environments to play in and games that have, minimal or no contact when possible.
For more information on concussions and reducing their risks, call one of our qualified exercise professional at the Physical Activity Line, 1-877-725-1149.
Parachute Canada: Concussion FAQ