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Preventing and Managing Concussions in Youth Sports: What Every Parent Needs to Know

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Preventing and Managing Concussions in Youth Sports: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Youth sports are a great way for kids to stay active and develop important skills like teamwork and sportsmanship. However, one of the risks associated with contact sports like football, soccer, and hockey is the potential for concussions. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that can result from a blow to the head or a sudden jolt to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. It is important for parents to understand the return to play protocol and safety measures around concussion to protect their children's health.

Recognising the Signs of a Concussion

One of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from the effects of a concussion is to learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms. These can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light or noise.

If a child experiences any of these symptoms after a blow to the head or sudden jolt to the body, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Parents should also make sure their child's coach and any other adults responsible for their care are aware of the injury

Return to Play Protocol

Once a child has been diagnosed with concussion, it is important to follow a proper return to play protocol to ensure their safety. This protocol typically involves a series of steps, starting with rest and gradually increasing activity levels over time.

It is also important not to rush the return to play process, as returning to sports to soon can increase the risk of further injury and potentially even more severe consequences. Parents should work closely with their child's medical provider and coach to ensure that the return t play protocol is being followed correctly.

Preventing Concussions

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the risk of concussion in contact sports, there are steps parents can take to help reduce the risk. These may include ensuring that their child is wearing proper safety gear, such as a helmet, mouthguard, and any other recommended equipment.

Parents can also encourage their child to play with good sportsmanship, avoiding unnecessary roughness or head-to-head contact. Participating in regular strength training to help build muscle which will act as body armour against collisions.

Instilling Confidence

At Inner Athlete we have had to deal with numerous concussions and the key when returning to play once a young athlete is physically capable to return to their sport/s, is instilling confidence into the athlete.

If they are returning to games with some restraint that's when their performance will suffer but more importantly this will leave them more susceptible to placing themselves into a position where they can get hurt again. That's where as a parent your support is imperative to help overcome what can be a daunting experience and as a coach, ensuring they have done all the necessary work before coming back onto the field.

The Final Word

Concussions are a serious concern for parents of youth athletes, but with proper recognition, treatment and prevention, it is possible to keep kids safe and enjoying the benefits of sports.

Parents should take the time to learn about the signs and symptoms of concussion, work closely with medical providers and coaches to ensure proper return to play protocols are followed, and take steps to reduce the risk of injury in the first place. With these measures in place, youth sports can continue to be a valuable part of a child's development and overall health.

Check out our Inner Athlete Podcast interview with concussion expert Dr Alan Pearce for more information.

For more information on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing your sports performance, check out our website and podcast (also available on Spotify and YouTube).

Matt Hucul
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Inner Athlete - Bayside's premium strength and conditioning coaching your young athletes

#youthathletes #teenathletes #youngathletes #concussionprotocols


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