Tag Archives: Youth Concussions

Delaware Youth Concussion Summit – Wrap Up

27 Sep

A regular reader and a very good friend to The Concussion Blog was fortunate enough to attend the Delaware Youth Concussion Summit the past week.  I had asked her to write-up a report and she kindly and succinctly did that for TCB.  Because of Dorothy Bedford I can bring you this information, thank you.  This is also a reminder that if you attend a conference, symposium or summit and feel the information would good for the readers you are more than welcome to submit it so us in a .doc or .docx form and we will publish.  Without further ado here is Dorothy’s contribution;

The Delaware Youth Concussion Summit, an initiative organized by the State Council for Persons with Disabilities Brain Injury Committee, Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, and the Brain Injury Association of Delaware, yesterday released its three-point Action Plan regarding the diagnosis, management, and return to activity for the rising number of young people sustaining concussions in sports activities. Participants in the summit and action work groups include leaders and experts in medicine, neuro-psychology, education, sports, advocacy, state agencies, and elected officials.

The Summit aims to further the aims of Delaware’s concussion legislation, signed in August 2011, which mandated both concussion training for all DIAA coaches and awareness training for parents and athletes, and set some rules around written medical clearances before returning to play.

After convening in May 2013, the Summit divided itself into working groups and today announced three focus areas for further action:  Continue reading

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Quick Hits on a Cold Thursday

31 Jan

American Medical Society of  Sports Medicine Position Statement…

I had seen this but caught it again in a below article, the AMSSM released its position statement on concussions recently.  Most of those involved in writing this were in Zurich last November and this comes out about two months before the consensus statement is released in the British Journal of Medicine.  (pssssst – it is also going to have a release in Australia, in conjunction with the AFL Concussion Conference and first round of games and I am still looking for a sponsor)

I found one piece of this position statement very encouraging and made me smile for all the hard work others have done;

Return to Class

* Students will require cognitive rest and may require academic accommodations such as reduced workload and extended time for tests while recovering from concussion.

The rest of the statement is not really “Earth shattering” but there are interesting points in there;

* In sports with similar playing rules, the reported incidence of concussion is higher in females than males.

* Certain sports, positions, and individual playing styles have a greater risk of concussion.

* Youth athletes may have a more prolonged recovery and are more susceptible to a concussion accompanied by a catastrophic injury.

* Balance disturbance is a specific indicator of concussion but is not very sensitive. Balance testing on the sideline may be substantially different than baseline tests because of differences in shoe/cleat type or surface, use of ankle tape or braces, or the presence of other lower extremity injury.

* Most concussions can be managed appropriately without the use of neuropsychological testing.

* There is increasing concern that head impact exposure and recurrent concussions contribute to long-term neurological sequelae.

* Some studies have suggested an association between prior concussions and chronic cognitive dysfunction. Large-scale, epidemiological studies are needed to more clearly define risk factors and causation of any long-term neurological impairment.

* Primary prevention of some injuries may be possible with modification and enforcement of the rules and fair play.

* Helmets, both hard (football, lacrosse, and hockey), and soft (soccer, rugby), are best suited to prevent impact injuries (fracture, bleeding, laceration, etc) but have not been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of concussions.

* There is no current evidence that mouth guards can reduce the severity of or prevent concussions.

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X-Games, D on coverage…

Anyone catch the X-Games this past weekend?  Action sports are on the rise and the X-Games Continue reading

Pop Warner Game Results In Discipline

22 Oct

On September 15th there was a Pop Warner football game for 10-12 year-old’s; it did not end so well for the Tantasqua team, getting drubbed 52-0.  However, that was not the only story line of the game.  Evidently five players suffered a concussion is this ONE game, which resulted in discipline;

The five children missed various numbers of school days because of their injuries, and one has not returned to the field.

The coaches, Southbridge’s Scott Lazo and Tantasqua’s Erik Iller, were suspended for the remainder of the season and placed on probation through the 2013 season after a lengthy hearing Thursday conducted by Central Mass. Pop Warner.

The association presidents, Lazo’s brother, Doug Lazo of Southbridge, and Iller’s wife, Jen Iller of Tantasqua, also were placed on probation through the 2013 season because they attended the game and failed to take action, according to the hearing committee.

In addition, Continue reading

Concussion Awareness Helping Change Attitudes

20 Aug

I have stated from day one, that simple awareness of what a concussion is and how it should be handled will help with the epidemic and looming issues in all sports.  Football is the easy target but concussions come from all walks of life, mainly bike riding and wheeled activities like skateboarding.  Awareness is spreading, and along with that there will be changes to the things we enjoy.  They should not be taken away, but to prevent someone from doing that proactive steps must be taken.

Mike Cardillo of ctpost.com wrote an article about such culture change in his neck of the woods, Connecticut;

“There’s always been a culture of football about playing through injury,” Coyne said earlier this summer at a concussion awareness night in Westport. “It doesn’t seem like a real injury, like an ACL tear, so it doesn’t seem important.”

Across the board, only a few years after Coyne last played a down, attitudes toward concussions and how they pertain to the sport of football have changed, if not revolutionized.

And more changes are needed, if we are to stave of those that want to bubble wrap our kids.  The article explained the Pop Warner rule changes with practice, a good first step in my opinion, but there is more to be done without harming the game, as Chris Nowinski stated in the article;

“The way we were playing in the past, a few years ago, I wouldn’t expose any child to where you’re hitting three, four days a week, drills that never should be done with coaches who aren’t trained for concussions. That was the Wild West,” he said. “Now if we truly commit to attacking all the risk factors, which does include assessment and management, then it remains to be seen if it’s safe enough. Then it becomes a personal decision for the parents to make.”

And with that, the injury of concussion is not the elephant in the room, Continue reading

A New Book on Concussion Debuts

23 May

Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, PhD has written a new book about concussions and youth titled Ahead of the Game: the parents’ guide to youth sports concussions.  Dr. Moser is defined by her MomsTeam profile;

Dr. Moser is the Director of the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey, Director of Research Programs for the International Brain Research Foundation, and MomsTeam.com’s youth sports concussion neuropsychologist. A licensed psychologist, certified school psychologist, and board certified neuropsychologist and rehabilitation psychologist, Dr. Moser received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania where she also served on the faculty.

She is a fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and of the American Psychological Association, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology and the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Moser currently serves as an adjunct member of the faculty at Widener University, and as neuropsychological concussion consultant to both the Philadelphia Soul and the Trenton Steel Pro Arena Football teams.

As part of the book launch there is a party prior to the Philadelphia Soul’s game on June 24th.  The party will Continue reading

More Confirmation of Age/Sex Differences

18 May

The difference between male and females has been known for a little while as the females tend to show more cognitive issues and in research have shown to be slower at recovering.  Also known but for some reason discounted is the age aspect; it would be logical to expect a developing brain to struggle more with brain trauma.  Reuters wrote up an article about the recent research;

Female and high school athletes may need more time to recover from a concussion than their male or college counterparts, according to a U.S. study that comes amid rising concern about concussions in young athletes.

Researchers, whose report appeared in the American Journal of Sports medicine, found that of 222 young athletes who suffered a concussion, female athletes tended to have more symptoms than males. They also scored lower on tests of “visual memory” – the ability to recall information about something they’d seen.

Meanwhile, high school athletes fared worse on memory tests than college players, and typically took longer to improve.

For parents, coaches and athletes, the key message is to have patience with concussion recovery, said lead researcher Tracey Covassin, an assistant professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Research like this will now begin to be shown to the world, as the research and money has ramped up over the past 3-4 years making longevity and high volume studies available.  The simple moral of the story is; take plenty of time to recover before returning.  One or two games is better than a semester or year.

 

Colorado’s “Jake Snakenberg Act”

23 Jan

The concussion legislation in Colorado went into full effect recently and in this case, a seven year-old, it has paid dividends;

“Two concussions and a scar right here,” said Dylan, pointing to his forehead.

Dylan suffered his first concussion playing football this past summer. He says he suffered another concussion when he ran into the dishwasher at his home.

“I was chasing my brother,” said Dylan.

His mother, Alex Hearn, admits she didn’t understand the full implications of concussions till it happened to her son.

“I think people don’t take it as seriously as they probably need to,” said Alex Hearn.

The new measures Continue reading

What In The What?

21 Jan

So I was reading a Houston Chronicle article sent to us titled “Youth football less dangerous than thought” and came away really confused and to be honest questioning not only the agenda of the article but those interviewed, including two doctors, one high-profile doctor in Houston.

The first quote from Dr. Gary Bock that makes me scratch my head:

“We see more catastrophic injuries among cheerleaders than among any group of athletes,” Brock said. “The risk per hour of activity is seven times greater than with other participatory sports. It cracks me up when parents tell me they won’t let their sons play football but then push their daughters into cheerleading.”

This information would fly in the face of any significant injury tracking that has been done, especially the injury surveillance done by R. Dawn Comstock and her peers (2010-11 Original Summary Report).  The work done by this group is for high school athletes, the only data set we have for athletes that young.  Any other data set for “youth” Continue reading

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