Stories about: Sports & exercise

Dealing with nosebleeds in children

Girl controls nosebleed by pinching her nose.

Though they’re not usually a serious medical concern, nosebleeds in children can be frightening and socially disabling. Nosebleeds at school, friends’ houses or birthday parties can be quite disruptive, as many people are scared of blood and often nobody really knows what to do about it.

What causes nosebleeds? 

Almost all nosebleeds are caused by a drying of the nasal mucosa. The inside of our noses is lined by mucosa — the same moist tissue that lines our mouth — and just like in our mouths, constant airflow around that mucosa can dry and irritate it.

Considering the fact that we breathe through our nose all day every day, it’s pretty remarkable that everyone isn’t walking around with constant nosebleeds.

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After competitive dreams end, gymnast finds a new beginning

Plica syndrome
Colby at the beach

Colby Parsons fell in love with gymnastics at age 4. “I loved the communal aspect of my team and the focus on mastery in gymnastics,” recalls Colby, now 19 and a Brown University freshman. As a young boy, Colby dreamed of competing as an all-around gymnast in Nationals. But sometimes life plans don’t go according to plan.

As a young teen, Colby was ranked fifth in Massachusetts, but he was in constant pain. His parents thought his knee pain might be caused by growing pains or an overuse injury. His coach suspected shin splints.

“His pediatrician said, ‘Give it a few weeks. Take a break from gymnastics,’” recalls his mother Nancy.

But kids like Colby really don’t take a break.

Despite the pain, Colby continued to compete and reached the state championships in 2012. During a run to the vault, his knee pain became so intense he couldn’t complete the run.

“He had to scratch. It was devastating,” says Nancy.

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NHL star on sports concussion: Be aware, get tested

concussionJason Zent, a retired professional hockey player, has witnessed a dramatic shift in concussion awareness since the start of his professional career in 1995. Though awareness of how a concussion impacts an athlete’s health has improved, Zent is on a mission to continue to raise awareness and promote baseline testing.

Zent played hockey in high school at The Nichols School in Buffalo and for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but concussion was not talked about during his high school and college playing days.

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From torn labrum to Harvard hockey MVP

From torn labrum to Harvard hockey MVP
Photo courtesy of Elan Kawesch/Harvard Athletics

Sarah Edney, women’s ice hockey defenseman at Harvard University, has had an impressive college career, scoring 25 goals and 63 assists during her four years playing for the Crimson women. Competing at this level requires an athlete to skate year-round and put in countless hours of off-ice training.

During her senior year, Sarah played a key role in the Crimson women’s 2014-15 season. The team often outplayed the competition, winning every championship, until losing in the National Championship game at the Frozen Four. Sarah was showered with honors and named MVP for the League tournament and second team All-American. The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) named her defenseman of year in March.

The big surprise? “My best year of college hockey came after hip surgery and without skating for four months.”

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