A Holiday Reminder: Kids and Concussions

A recent news release from SafeKids Oregon – “Concussions: What You Need to Know” – offers an important note of caution during this holiday season, highlighting the dangers of Oregon TBI injuries related to youth sports and offering important pointers for parents who want their kids to be as safe as they are active.

The news release highlights findings presented in a webinar organized by the group earlier this month (see the link below for the press release – which also contains a link to a video of the complete SafeKids presentation). As the SafeKids news release shows, more than a third of all traumatic brain injuries nationwide are caused by falls. Moreover, “more than one in three children who play team sports are injured seriously enough to miss practices or games, and some suffer life-long consequences.”
The report goes on to note that “concussions can happen to children in many activities so knowing how to identify and prevent them is important.” To that end, the webinar points users toward free online training sessions offered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One set of videos is aimed at coaches and another (funded jointly by the CDC Foundation and the NFL) targets clinicians with the goal of improving both recognition and initial treatment.

The focus of SafeKids’ own webinar is even more basic: learning how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and what to do if you see them. Much of this starts with a simple point, one often emphasized by SafeKids: “educating kids and teens to take hits to the head seriously.” That might sound like something that requires a fundamental change in our culture, especially in the sports world, but increased awareness is essential to cutting down on debilitating TBI injuries and the essential first step is making sure that kids, parents and coaches alike are aware of the problem. It may sound like a cliché, but everything begins with awareness.

As a Portland TBI lawyer I appreciate the work SafeKids does both to raise awareness among Oregonians. This time of year can be a dangerous one for kids and parents alike, but with a few basic precautions everyone can have a safer, and happier, holiday season.

SafeKids Oregon: Concussions: What You Need to Know