Injuries are sometimes an unavoidable part of youth sports. Headstrong Kids Canada wants to ensure that all kids with head injuries receive timely professional medical treatment, regardless of the family's ability to pay. Headstrong Kids Canada is proud to be supporting young athletes. We are a dedicated non-profit that combats the issues of youth sports injuries by addressing 5 key components: awareness, prevention, detection, management, and surveillance.
When a student-athlete is injured, there is a normal emotional reaction that includes processing the medical information and coping emotionally with the injury. Emotional responses to an injury may include sadness, frustration, changes in appetite, and feelings of isolation that can be difficult to cope with. How student-athletes respond to injury may differ, and there is no predictable sequence or reaction. It is important that family members, medical staff, sports coaches and friends of the injured player are aware of these changes and support the injured player during this difficult time.
Young athletes deserve to be part of a safe sports culture. At Headstrong Kids Canada, we know that preventing concussions and other sports injuries is an integral part of creating that culture. There are many steps to preventing sports injuries:
- Enforce the rules: ensure athletes avoid unsafe actions
- Wear proper protective gear: require all players to wear well-fitting gear appropriate for their age and sport
- Talk about Concussion Reporting: teach athletes about the importance of concussion reporting
- Have a Concussion Action Plan in place: create an action plan that removes a potentially concussed athlete from play, keeps them out of play until cleared by a healthcare provider, and supports them on their path to healing
The pro-active actions of youth sports coaches and parents will create a safe sports culture. Athletes do best when they have fun playing their sport and feel safe reporting symptoms of injury to their coaches and parents. At Headstrong Kids Canada, we believe it is vital that young players are educated about concussion symptom reporting and receive praise from their coaches when they report any symptoms of injury.
Early detection is vital when it comes to treating sports injuries and traumatic brain injuries. As an athletic trainer or team physician, it’s important to be aware of common signs and symptoms for various sports-related injuries and mental health issues. The mission of Headstrong Kids Canada is to provide resources surrounding education and treatment of concussions and other sports injuries. We want youth athletes to understand that mental health issues are just as important to recognize and treat as symptoms for other medical issues.
When young athletes suffer a concussion, it is extremely important – and sometimes difficult – to watch for psychological responses to the injury. Some student-athletes experience emotional symptoms as a direct result of the brain trauma, which can include symptoms of anxiety and depression. In some cases, the psychological reaction to the concussion – rather than the concussion itself – can be the trigger for the depression. Simply waiting for the brain and body to heal is not enough: the psychological symptoms must also be treated.
For most injuries, the student-athlete is able to return to pre-injury levels of activity. In more serious cases, however, a student’s playing career may be at stake. The health care provider should be prepared to address these issues.
The child's physician is responsible for the return-to-play decision. Addressing psychological issues is just as important as dealing with the physical injury. Mental health is a serious issue for the majority of concussion sufferers. Headstrong Kids Canada maintains strong partnerships with a Youth Neuro Psychiatrist so we can help address these issues.
Headstrong Kids Canada is proud to be supporting young athletes. We promote the education of sports medicine staff and provide the proper sports equipment for underserved, low-income areas. To learn more, get in touch with us today.