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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Concussions might happen easier than what many people in Ontario realize. Concussions are brain injuries that can occur even without a blow to the head. The violent shaking of the brain inside the skull in a car accident or on the sports field can leave victims suffering from this condition. This is not something to ignore, and although most concussions heal within a short time, proper diagnosis, treatment and monitoring are crucial.
Research into the causes and consequences of concussions is ongoing, and so is determining the dos and don'ts of the recovery process. What many people in Ontario might not realize is that concussions are brain injuries caused by the brain slamming into the walls of the skull during sports activities or car accidents, and repeated incidents could exacerbate the long-term consequences. One thing that is clear is that a medical evaluation is crucial for anyone who shows signs of head trauma.
A neurosurgeon from Toronto recently spoke to health care professionals, local coaches, athletes and representatives of sports organizations about the prevalence of concussions among active schoolchildren in Ontario. He expressed his concern about the fact that many injuries among participants in school sports suffer concussions that are not recognized as brain injuries. He notes that the correct response to sport-related concussions is essential.
Some injuries are invisible, which makes it difficult for others to understand the challenges faced by the victim. Brain injuries fall into this category. They can happen in the blink of an eye but have life-long consequences. Acquired brain injuries can occur in an instant, and whether it is caused by a car accident in Ontario or an incident on the sports field, it offers victims and their loved ones no preparation time for immediate and long-term challenges.