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The challenges faced by school children with brain injuries

Ontario parents of children who suffered concussions or other head injuries might be overwhelmed by the challenges they and their children face when it comes to the children's return to school. The reason for this is that the effects of brain injuries on each child are unique, and some changes will be more evident and visible than others. Also, some may last longer than others, and it is even possible for changes to become apparent after months or years.

The long road to recovery from traumatic brain injuries

Four years ago, an Ontario mother received one of the most dreaded calls from the police. She learned that her 23-year-old son suffered catastrophic injuries when a transport truck struck him. No one expected him to survive, but his will to live and his mother's loving care brought him to a stage where he wants to help other victims of acquired brain injuries to cope with their changed circumstances.

Car accident caused life-changing brain injuries

An Ontario woman recently explained how her father is struggling to recover from a December car accident that claimed her mother's life. The collision between her father's SUV and a transport truck happened on Trans-Canada Highway, and it caused severe traumatic brain injuries. She says it is heartbreaking to see her once active father in such a weakened state.

Coping with brain injuries can be a significant challenge

Concussions Ontario says the number of diagnosed concussions across the province in 2013 was 148,710. The group says concussions are the most frequently occurring traumatic brain injuries, and the symptoms can vary significantly. Some victims experience mostly cognitive symptoms that affect thinking and memory, while others struggle with balance, vertigo and other physical symptoms. Emotional issues are also common, and brain injury victims often suffer depression, irritability and anxiety.

Brain injuries: Do helmets and mouthguards prevent concussion?

Concussion risks for hockey players have been points of concern and multiple discussions and awareness campaigns in Ontario in recent months. Many players do not realize that concussion are brain injuries, and repeated incidents can cause permanent brain damage. Too much confidence is often put in protection such as helmets and mouthguards.

A mindset change might prevent brain injuries in hockey

An ice hockey coach, who has been involved in coaching for over 20 years, endeavours to change people's mindset toward injury prevention instead of changing the game. His coaching included all age groups and categories, from the youngest players to varsity and professional levels. He says coaches nationwide, including Ontario, have enormous influence on both players and parents. For this reason, he suggests that coaches are the ideal messengers of safer practices on sports fields in their quest to prevent brain injuries.

Bike helmets can limit the severity of brain injuries in children

In Ontario, all bicycle riders under the age of 18 have to wear protective helmets while cycling. Although helmets cannot prevent brain injuries altogether, they will limit the severity of head injuries. However, parents need to note that a bike helmet must be replaced after a fall as they are designed to withstand only one impact during a crash.

Hockey leagues face lawsuit re former player's brain injuries

Awareness campaigns have made people in Ontario and other provinces and territories aware of the risks of concussions in sports. Sadly, many sports people learn about the potential for brain injuries too late. One such a case led to a lawsuit that a former captain of the Kelowna Rockets filed against the Western Hockey League, Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League.

Society needs to learn how to embrace victims of brain injuries

Following some injury types, social skills must be rekindled. An excellent example is brain injuries, which are often hidden injuries that make it difficult for others to understand. They may be mistaken for a behavioural issues, and brain-injured people in Ontario might feel that they are treated like children. The reality is that these conditions are neurophysiological, not behavioral, and they typically require neuroplastic treatment along with several layers of practical, cognitive, physical and social support.

Brain injuries: Prompt medical care is key to injury management

Ontario is a leader in Canada when it comes to concussions in youth sports -- providing education and management guidance to help victims cope with the aftermath. The most significant myth about brain injuries to overcome is that a blow to the head causes a concussion, whereas some concussions are suffered without any impact to the head. Many concussions go untreated because people are unaware of the available rehabilitation programs.

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