As kids and teens get ready for the start of a new school year, many will be lacing up their cleats in anticipation of the coming soccer season. Playing soccer brings together all the benefits of rigorous exercise, fun with friends and an unlimited abundance of orange slices. However, participation also comes with the risk of injury.
Concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury, are all too common in the soccer world. It’s clear that the protection mouth guards provide is far from sufficient for protecting your child from a concussion. So, if soccer’s protective equipment can’t keep players safe, what can?
Dr. Michael O’Brien, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital, helps athletes who have sustained concussions get back in the game and works with athletes to prevent sports injuries, including concussions. His advice to players, parents and coaches on what athletes can do to reduce the risks of concussions revolves around effective and clear communication.
For the last few years, concussions have been on the forefront of the minds of parents, coaches and athletes across the country, as their risks and prevalence become more well-known. This increase in visibility has raised a lot of concern about both the immediate and potential long-term effects of concussions sustained by children and adolescents. Luckily, research efforts have also increased, leading to a better understanding of how concussions should be managed in young athletes.
At the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Berlin, Germany, physicians and researchers around the world came together to collaborate on the treatment of sport-related concussions.
One of the outcomes of the conference was a change in the suggested concussion return to play guidelines, a decision that was based on a vast array of research and scientific consensus from multiple institutions, including Boston Children’s.
Winter school vacation week is officially here. If you aren’t traveling to a warmer climate, outdoor winter activities — sledding, skiing, snowboarding and more, are likely part of your family’s vacation plans.
So what is a parent to do? …