Most parents worry about their children getting a head injury while playing sports, and that fear is far from unwarranted. The latest data actually shows an increase in emergency room visits for school-age athletes with brain injuries such as concussions in the past few years.
This, of course, doesn’t mean we want to take our kids out of sports all together. Instead, it shows the importance of being able to recognize and effectively treat the injuries when they occur.
In this instance, the rise in emergency room visits may actually be positive, as they could reflect an increased amount of parents concerned and informed about the dangers of brain injuries.
This education and awareness are the most important factors in keeping kids safe on the field, especially when the biggest dangers come from repeated brain injuries. That is why we have compiled a list of five tips for parents with young athletes to keep kids safe from serious brain injuries.
1) Know the signs – Always keep in mind that the most well known symptom of a concussion is also one of the rarest. Most people with traumatic brain injuries do not lose consciousness. Instead, keep an eye out for headaches, restlessness, irritability, and changes in sleeping, eating, and behavior.
2) Limit exposure in practice – As a parent, you can encourage the coaches to mold practices into safer enviornments. Exposing players to the way the game is played during competition is important, but there is still room to focus on agility and motor skills rather than full player-on-player contact.
3) Play it safe – At the current rate, less than half of all parents have their children examined by medical professionals after a head injury. Don’t be a parent that allows their child to return to play without the consent of a doctor.
4) Keep good nutrition – DHA is a structural fat in the brain that is very important during early childhood when the brain is rapidly growing and developing. Feed your children food that is rich in DHA, for example fatty fish, so that their brain will grow up healthy.
5) Take advice from the pros – Professional athletes are almost always the first to get the latest safety equipment, as well as being the frontline for new regulations. Follow their lead, and keep your children prepared with the latest safety precautions.
Any parent will agree that the health of their child or children is the most important thig in the world to them, but we know that living a healthy active lifestyle places them in dangerous situations. Follow these tips to minimalize the risks they face.
For more statistics and words from medical and sports professionals, visit Wausau Daily Herald’s article here.