Tag Archives: parent

Education Week: Football is the New Smoking

Author Douglas W. Green made the case in Education Week Tuesday that “football is the new smoking.”

Green argues that society, all the way back to ancient Rome, loves violence. But he also makes the case that there may be an end in sight:

“Watching people you don’t know beat the crap out of each other might be fun for some, but how about when it’s your own flesh and blood? While violent movies and computer games are very popular, most of our population limits violence view to the virtual variety.”5011227045_4df2341d87

But even when football is gone, there will be other sports, where the byproduct is concussions. He notes cheerleading as an example:

“Perhaps the biggest risk for girls is cheerleading. When I was in high school, the cheerleaders barely got off the floor, and no one I know remembers a cheerleader injury from my era. Today, some cheerleading teams don’t even cheer as they are focused to prepare for cheerleading competitions. If you haven’t seen one of these affairs, you should give it a try. They feature girls standing on each other, throwing each other about, manic tumbling, and all sorts of opportunities for serious injuries. I have yet to attend a competition that didn’t feature at least one girl, usually more, being taken out in a wheel chair or on a stretcher.”

To see the full story, visit: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2015/04/why_would_anyone_let_their_kid.html

 

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Concussion Activist Is an Agent of Change

(Editor’s Note: Shared content from Concussion Litigation Reporter) Katherine “Price” Snedaker is striving to be an agent of change in concussion education for youth sports.

Whether that change is affected through public speaking, consulting, or social media, she doesn’t care. As long as change happens.

Founder of the portal www.pinkconcussions.com, we sought out Snedaker. An exclusive interview follows.

Question: What drew you to the concussion space?

Answer: In 7th grade, my son was hit with a soccer ball in temple while on the sidelines talking to a friend during school recess. He was dropped to the ground with what was diagnosed as a concussion which cause headaches, inability to read, and a change in his personality. It would be almost 3.5 months before he could return to school. He would concuss five more times in the next 13 months as his life and our family’s life was put on hold.  I wanted to understand what was going on and so I sought out experts in the field at conferences, on phone calls and face to face meetings.

Q: Why are we seeing more concussions today than we did 20 years ago?

A: I will go out on a limb here and give a non-traditional answer. The standard reasons usually given for this question are the change in the definition of a concussion to include concussions without LOC, public awareness efforts to educate, press about the NFL lawsuits, Chris Nowinski’s tireless efforts through SLI and Head Games, and the distribution of CDC materials, etc. But I also believe it is in part because concussions don’t fit the 2014 iPhone lifestyle.

Kids and adults today spend hours and hours on screens, smart boards, iPads and engaged in smart technology. When concussed in the 1970’s one would come home from school and probably took nap, maybe read a book, watched maybe an 1/2 hour of TV across the living room. I believe that without all the screen time, injured brains had more quality time to rest.

In terms of more sport-concussions, we do have more kids playing competitive sports at early ages and multiple sports are played around the year with overlapping seasons or simply seasons that never end. We also have as a society placed a huge focus on sports concussions even though best estimates are that only 1 out of every 4 concussions in children are related to playing an organized sport. A 2012 study showed that children are more likely to be taken to the doctor when they sustained a head injury in a sports-related activity than a child who is hurt in a non-sport related accident. Partially due to concussion education but I personally believe it is also because of the public nature of the injury that motivates parents to seek medical care.

Q: How do your organizations intersect with the legal side of the concussion crisis?

A: Our last four events have included lawyers as guest speakers who come to help clarify the legal issues around concussions to school nurses, staff and youth sports leaders. I believe there is a narrow band of time before lawsuits and insurance premiums will determine who plays what game and how.  I invite lawyers to our events to help people understand liability issues about concussion sideline recognition training, dispel fear, and teach staff and coaches how to protect against litigation and continue to play sports.

Q: Who needs what your organization provides the most and why?

A: Youth sports – our youngest athletes have the least experienced coaches and virtually no athletic trainers at their events. Coaches, parents and athletes themselves need to understand basic concussion signs and symptoms to recognize in oneself but also very importantly in one’s teammates.

Q: What are the keys to solving the concussion crisis?

A: Here are some key steps any adult can take to become a resource when a head injury takes place. You can save a life.

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Click these links to learn:
  3. Take the free CDC online concussion courses – takes 20 minutes:

As a community, we need to take these key steps:

  1. Fund full-time athletic trainers in every school along with school nurses.
  2. Launch national youth database like InjureFREE.com in every k-12 school for the school year 2013-2014, and see what is really happening out there.
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Concussions: A Parent’s Persepctive

By David Bookstaff

(Editor’s Note: The writer is the VP of Operations for Sports Brain (www.sportsbrain.com). The article is reprinted from the company’s March newsletter)

As a part of the Sports Brain team, I recently attended
both the American Football Coaches Association
(AFCA) Convention in Indianapolis and the National
Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
Convention in Philadelphia. I was excited to attend
these events for three reasons:

• First, I was anticipating a great response from
attendees about the work we are doing.

• Second, I was excited to be able to see and meet
top level coaches and former athletes that I have
watched on the sidelines and in games for many
years.

• Finally, as a parent with kids who are athletically
involved. I was excited to gain insight into the
perspectives of coaches and organizations.

Looking back now, I was not disappointed by my
expectations and I learned some valuable lessons.

Overall, the conference attendees loved what we
were doing. Former athletes and coaches of all
levels stopped by and commented on the need for
our services and the desire to work with us. It was
not uncommon for a former athlete to say, “I wish you
were around when I was playing.” My experience
meeting former athletes and coaches was equally
rewarding. I had the privilege of meeting several
current and retired elite collegiate coaches and they
were all friendly and interested in what was going
on in the concussion world. They acknowledged
that times have changed and will continue to change
as we learn more and more about the dangers of
multiple concussions and head injury. It was great to
see the interest in our work and gain a perspective
on how much the concussion knowledge has
developed in the past 20 years. We also heard
from people who had been around their sports for a
long time about how much has changed in terms of
concussion awareness in even the last 5 to 10 years.

The most interesting part for me, however, came
on the final day of NSCAA, after a special event
honoring the Collegiate All-Americans. Many of the
All-Americans, and their parents, walked through
the exhibit hall. Almost every family walking by our
booth stopped to talk to us. Each had a personal
story about concussions and the damage the
concussions caused to them personally or to a
teammate. The parents, in general, commented
that soccer has been a tremendous experience for
their children, teaching them great life lessons and
opening many doors. For some, college would never
have been an option if they did not receive a soccer
scholarship. At the same time, there was a recurring
theme that as great as the game has been for them,
few expected playing soccer to be a viable career.

Statistically, the odds are overwhelmingly against
becoming a professional athlete. There are a lot
of kids playing soccer and as the kids grow and
develop, fewer and fewer make it to the next level.

We always encourage kids to keep developing
because if you work hard enough, practice to
develop the right skills, have the athleticism and stay
healthy you might just make it. But it is important
for the parents to understand the long odds of all
of those elements falling into place because that
knowledge will help them recognize the importance
of concussion management, since most of their kids
will not have a professional soccer career.

The parents believe, rather strongly, that we
have to fight concussions and we have to protect
our children by insisting on the development of
concussion management programs for all athletes.

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