Concussion Care Challenges for Parents
as seen in USA Hockey Magazine Nov.2014
Given what we’ve learned about the long-term damage of concussions, I wish I could wrap my hockey player in bubble wrap. There was a time when I rarely heard about concussions. But now? There isn’t a season that goes by that I haven’t either witnessed a bad head injury or sat next to a parent whose kid was out with one.
Hockey dad Greg Jewett, also a phys ed teacher for Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y. raises concerns about protocol, especially when it comes to returning to the ice after a concussion. Last season’s Pee Wee coach was very supportive when his son, Alec, missed practices after suffering a mild concussion. But do all coaches feel that way? Since it is not monitored by a school, it is a slippery slope. “ I think that youth hockey organizations should adopt the impact testing that high schools use as a way to measure brain activity and if a player is ready to return,” says Jewett. “ But there are no trainers on site, no testing in place and this is a problem for youth hockey going forward.”Jewett raises a valid point that without a known protocol for an organization, it is difficult to enforce any rules and players often return too soon whether it be peer, coaching or parental influence to return to the ice too soon.
Concussion care is challenging. While we can’t reach for the bubble wrap , we can wrap ourselves in knowledge, seek timely medical treatment and work on helping our teams develop protocol on when it’s safe for kids to suit up again.