Parents in Toronto might not realize that children are most susceptible to suffer brain injuries that could affect them for the rest of their lives. The brain's development starts soon after conception and continues throughout life. However, because of the ongoing development, the consequences of brain injuries suffered as a child might only become evident during the teenage years. When the brain is far enough developed, the effects of childhood injuries may become apparent.
Safety advocates in Ontario have several programs and awareness campaigns in place to inform athletes and parents about the risks posed by contact sports. Parents learn that a bump to a child's head or even a vigorous shaking of the head can cause traumatic brain injuries. They are urged to look for signs and symptoms of concussions, and safety programs inform them of the consequences of repeat concussions.
Parents in Ontario might be aware of the risks of concussions if their children play contact sports like hockey. However, would they know if a toddler comes home from day care with brain injuries? A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, and it can happen even without a blow to the head. Violent shaking of a child can cause brain trauma, and there will be no signs of injury to the head.
Many Ontario people think that only severe head trauma can have long-term consequences. The truth is that even moderate to severe brain injuries can affect the victim's life. The fact that it is not a visible scar makes living with the consequences of TBI difficult. Even close friends and family can sometimes not understand the mental and physical challenges with which brain injury victims deal every day.
Parents in Ontario whose children play contact sports like hockey or football must never overlook the safety risks related to these activities. Although most parents know about the prevalence of concussions among athletes, many write it off as a bit of dizziness, confusion and headache that lasts for a short time. However, if the child is not treated promptly, the long-term health consequences of brain injuries can be severe.