Why is a “knock to the head” a big deal?
• Brain injuries are the leading cause of death among skiers and snowboarders of all ages; helmet use reduces the severity of injury by up to 60 per cent. • In 2010-11, there were 2,776 hospitalizations related to concussions in Canada,
Carla Kane Child Yo ut h & Fa mily P u blic H e a lt h
Happy Families, Healthy Families
with over 45 per cent of those concussions occurring in those 19 and under. • Young people are more likely to get a concussion, and it takes longer for them to recover than it does for an adult. Unlike adults, their brains are still undergoing maturation and change. • In 2010, $2.4 million was spent on hospitalization for concussion across B.C.
What do I do if I suspect a concussion?
• Stop yourself or the person that you
suspect has had a concussion from continuing the activity or sport. • Assess the person or yourself for any visible cues, signs or symptoms like those set out in the table (opposite). • Get medical help; medical professionals should evaluate even possible concussions. • Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion. The brain needs both physical and mental rest—this is not the time to hit the gym or have a Super Mario marathon. • Make a full recovery by following the Guidelines for Return to Learn and Return to Play: parachutecanada.org/downloads/ resources/return-to-play-guidelines.pdf
How can I help spread the word?
• Help spread awareness and understanding about preventing and managing concussions by talking to everyone you know about concussions. See the 2015 movie Concussion. • Call out any friends who aren’t wearing a snow sport helmet. Friends don’t let friends play without a helmet. • Check out the free apps on concussion that are available at the App Store, including one by Hockey Canada. Download one today.
• Encourage the people you know to visit cattonline.com/ for up-to-date and free concussion information, training and resources for teens, parents, athletes, coaches, medical professionals and educators. Get out and enjoy our seasons. Be and stay active. Whatever outdoor activity you choose to do, remember to keep your winter and summer play fun, safe and injury free by protecting your head. Injuries can be avoided but if they do happen, you can reduce the severity by getting medical advice.
Parachute Canada, a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives: parachutecanada. org/concussion BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, a leader in the production and transfer of injury prevention knowledge, supporting the integration of prevention practice into the daily lives of British Columbians. Visit injuryresearch.bc.ca/
Carla Kane, RN, BScN, is a Practice Consultant with the Island Health Community Care Facilities Licensing Program 250-519-3445
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